Crashes between vehicles and pedestrians on the rise in Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Roadway deaths in the U.S. are increasing despite efforts to make vehicles safer.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, the sharpest increase has been among deadly crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists.
“We all have that thought of ‘oh, that won’t affect me,’” said Travis Baumann, a sales associate at Pedal Power Bike Shop in Lexington.
However, fatal crashes involving cyclists and pedestrians are on the rise. At this time last year, there were 72 cyclist-and-pedestrian-related crashes. So far this year, there have been 78 cyclist-and-pedestrian-related crashes.
According to Kentucky’s Office of High Safety, there have been 577 crash fatalities in total, up from 539 at this time last year.
“People are not being courteous drivers out there, and that’s become a huge issue and that’s resulting in not only in crashes, but deaths,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, public affairs manager for AAA Bluegrass.
When it comes to cyclists, Baumann said beginners often overlook safety when they begin going out for rides.
“Not a lot of people are thinking about the protective and preventative aspects of it,” said Baumann.
Baumann said the way a bike is accessorized is more important than a specific make or model.
“A lot of it behind the scenes just goes into the accessories that you’re putting on that to make yourself more visible, to make yourself more protected in these instances,” he said.
Personal accessories include reflective clothing that makes a rider more visible to drivers or bike accessories such as mirrors and flashing lights.
“Things can go wrong, and that’s very normal, so being prepared for those times where things aren’t ideal are often overlooked by someone coming in for the first time,” said Baumann.
Pedal Power Bike Shop will host a road safety clinic at their Lexington shop on Sept. 30 at 9:15 a.m. The link to register for the clinic can be found on their website.
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