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Thursday, May 23, 2024

DMV: Bicycle-Involved Crashes on the Rise in Virginia

Photo by Viktor Bystrov on Unsplash

RICHMOND — As National Bicycle Safety Month comes to a close, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) notes there has been a 125% increase in bicyclist-related fatalities compared to last year.

So far, there have been 160 bicycle-involved crashes on Virginia’s roadways, resulting in the deaths of nine bicyclists and injuries to 156 others compared to four last year at this time, the agency said.

In response, the DMV is reminding Virginians — both bicyclists and motorists — to look out for each other on the road. 

“Cyclists are some of our most vulnerable road users. We all share the responsibility of keeping them safe,” said DMV Commissioner Gerald Lackey, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Looking out for each other is key. Be visible and predictable as a cyclist, and respect bike lanes and pass with care as a motorist.” 

The DMV offers the following tips for bicyclists: 

  • Always wear a properly-fitted helmet. 
  • Check your bike equipment before heading out. 
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic. 
  • Obey traffic signs, signals, and lane markings. 
  • Wear equipment to protect you and make you more visible to others. 

And for motorists: 

  • Pass bicyclists on the road with care; allow at least three feet clearance. 
  • Look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space. 
  • Yield to bicyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals. 
  • Look for bicyclists before making turns, either left or right. 
  • Respect designated bicycle lanes; don’t use them for parking, passing or turning. 

The DMV encourages both cyclists and drivers to practice defensive driving by staying focused and alert to the road and all surrounding traffic, noting that anticipating what others may do before they do it helps to better avoid a potential crash. 

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