Susan Salisbury and Palm Beach Post
If you’ve ever had your bicycle break down or blow a tire while you’re out enjoying a bike ride, you know what a pain that can be.
Starting today, AAA members with disabled or inoperable bicycles will receive Bicycle Roadside Assistance with their membership. The service will provide an additional level of safety for motorists and bicyclists.
AAA Service Technicians will be able to assist members who they can safely reach from an accessible road or parking lot. The owner and his or her bicycle will then be secured to the service vehicle, and transported to any point of safety within the member’s coverage: Classic (up to 5 miles free of charge), Plus (up to 100 miles), Premier (up to 200 miles).
“Providing this service continues to demonstrate our commitment to meet all the transportation needs of our members,” said Fawn Meehan, vice president of membership, AAA-The Auto Club Group. “Whether riding for sport, recreation, or exercise, it’s important for cyclists to know bicycles are considered vehicles. Following the rules of the road can save lives.”
Bicycle fatalities and injuries on Florida roadways are alarming. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, two out of five bicyclist fatalities are related to cyclists not wearing a helmet, or wearing it incorrectly. Cyclists can decrease their risk of injury by wearing proper safety gear and knowing how to operate a bike safely. With an increased number of bike riders sharing the road, AAA offers the following guidance to bicyclists and motorists:
Safety Tips for Bicyclists
- Follow the Rules of the Road. Always ride with traffic, using the rightmost lane, obeying the same laws as motorists.
- Be Visible. Ride where drivers can see you. Do not ride on the sidewalk.
- Be Predictable. Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars. Make eye contact with motorists to let them know you are there.
- Anticipate Conflicts. Always be aware of traffic around you and be prepared to take evasive action, exercising additional caution at intersections.
- Wear a Helmet. Helmets, when worn properly, are up to 85 percent effective in protecting the head and brain in the event of a crash.
Safety Tips for Motorists
- Share the Road. Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, including the right to ride in the traffic lane.
- Slow Down. Allow at least 3 feet of clearance when passing a bicyclist.
- Check Mirrors and Blind Spots. Check before turning, changing lanes or opening car doors.
- Never Honk Horn at Bicyclists. They may startle and swerve off the road or into traffic.
- Be Cautious. Watch out for children on bikes. They are often unsteady and unpredictable.
- Stay Alert. Avoid all distractions while driving and wear your seat belt.
For details on AAA’s bicycle transportation service, visit AAA.com/Bicycle