Nevada Office of Traffic Safety

News Release

Contact: Vicky O'Toole

Bruce Mackey

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May 11, 2001

May is National Bike Month

The Nevada Office of Traffic Safety reminds Nevadans to stay safe while bicycling with some quick tips

Carson City - May is National Bike Month and to observe the coming of another active outdoor season, the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety wants cyclists to remember a few simple rules before pedaling Nevada roadways.

"Bicycling is actually one of the safest means of transportation, in addition to being a healthy activity and helping to save energy," says Bruce Mackey, Safety Education Officer for the Office of Traffic Safety's Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program. " With a few simple precautions, you can maximize your safety and enjoyment."

Mackey offers the following tips for cyclists:

A significant number of bike crashes are a result of the cyclist riding the wrong way. Ride on the right side of the road with the flow of traffic, close to the curb as practical.

Ninety percent of bicycle-related deaths involve collisions with motor vehicles. Be especially careful when riding in traffic and be sure to look behind you before turning left across lanes.

Traffic laws apply to bicycles too. Running a stop sign or red light can be a disaster on a bike. Even if it is a tie between a car and bike, the bike loses.

Forty-nine percent of all bicycle deaths occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. If you ride after dark, be sure you have a headlight, a red reflector on the rear of the bike, and wear light colored clothing.

Always wear a properly fitted helmet. Statistics show that between seventy percent to eighty percent of all fatal bicycle crashes involve brain injuries. Wearing a helmet can prevent about eighty-five percent of these fatalities. According to the National Safety Council, seventy-five percent of the more than 1,400 annual deaths from bicycle accidents in this country are due to head injury. Universal use of helmets could prevent one death every day and one brain injury every four minutes.

"Educational campaigns are proven to increase bike helmet use by more than a third and decrease the incidence of bicycle-related brain injuries by more than sixty percent among children," adds Mackey. The Office of Traffic Safety trains bicycle safety instructors and offers classes statewide on safe bicycling for adults. "We encourage all cycling enthusiasts to increase their safety by attending a class." Call (775) 687-4229 for details.

The Nevada Office of Traffic Safety is a division of the Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety. NV OTS provides funding and expertise, creates partnerships and promotes education in order to reduce deaths and injuries on Nevada roadways. For more information visit the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety web site at