Traffic / Driver Safety
• Speeding triples the odds of being involved in a collision.
• Speeding is a leading factor in fatal crashes - nearly 1/3 of fatal collisions involved speed as a factor.
• The other top two factors for collisions are drowsiness and driver inattention.
• Car crashes are the number one cause of deaths for youths 15 - 24 years of age.
• The probability of death, disfigurement or debilitating injury increases with higher speed at impact. The consequences double for every 10 mph over 50 mph that a vehicle travels.
• In 2006, 2/3 of those who were killed in vehicle collisions in Kentucky were not wearing seat belts.
• When properly used, lap/shoulder belts can reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passengers by 45% - and risk of moderate to critical injury by 50%.
• 75% of persons ejected from a vehicle die as a result of the injuries sustained.
• Kentucky has the third lowest rate of seat belt usage in the country.
• Nationally, 83% of people report using safety belts - in Kentucky that number is 67%.
• Last year, Kentucky enacted a Primary Seat Belt Law - meaning drivers may be stopped solely for driving without using their seat belt.
• 75% of fatal crashes involving alcohol included a driver with a BAC of 0.10 or 0.11 - the legal limit is 0.08.
• More than half of those drivers (52%) had double the legal limit (0.16).
• One third of those arrested or convicted of DUI are repeat offenders.
• Motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes have an even higher incidence of speed and alcohol as factors in those events than other motor vehicles.
• 25% of motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes had invalid operator licenses - compared with 12% of passenger vehicles.
• The use of helmets would have reduced the number of fatal motorcycle crashes by 37%.
Bike Safety Tips
• Ride only on the right hand side of the street or roadway.
• Watch carefully when passing a parked car or truck, when overtaking a car ahead; pass on the left when the way is clear.
• Before turning or stopping give the proper signal in plenty of time to let others know what you intend to do.
• Ride single file. When on the streets and highways with other bicyclists, ride single file, one behind the other. Keep three bicycle lengths behind the rider you are following.
• Never hitch on to cars or trucks. Bicycle riders or persons on coasters or roller skates must never cling to or hold onto moving cars or trucks. Keep a safe distance behind the car or truck you are following, being ready for any sudden stops.
• Ride alone. Don't carry another person on the handlebars or crossbars of your bicycle. It makes balance uncertain and steering unsteady. Only one person should ride on a standard bicycle.
• Night riding is especially dangerous. Don't ride after dark, if you can avoid it. If you must ride at night, ride slowly with extra care, and you must have a good light and reflector that can be seen clearly.
• Ride in a straight line. Don't weave in and out of traffic or try trick riding on the street or sidewalk. Keep your head up.
• Don't ride out of driveways, alleys or ride out from behind parked cars without first stopping and looking to see that the sidewalks or streets are clear. Walk your bicycle and mount after leaving the driveway.
• Keep both hands on the handlebars at all times. Never carry bundles that will prevent this. It is best to have a bicycle basket to the front or a rack on the back with straps to carry books or other packages.
• Slow down and look both ways before crossing streets. Cross at corners. Walk your bicycle across busy streets.
• You must observe and obey all the traffic rules that the drivers of cars and trucks are required to obey. Traffic signs, lights, one-way streets and crosswalk markings apply to the bicycle rider as well as to drivers and people who are walking. You must always ride at a safe speed to fit conditions.