May Is National Bike Safety Month!

National Bike Safety MonthMay is National Bike Safety Month, which makes a lot of sense as spring is in full bloom. With more bicyclists riding around, it’s a great time for a refresher on bike safety.

The goal is to educate both motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists on how to share the road, watch out for one another, and create safer spaces for all road users. By remembering this long after the month ends, we may be able to reduce bicycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities involving bicycle riders.

Why is it important to educate people on bike safety?

Educating people on bike safety helps prevent serious injuries and fatalities from bicycle accidents. According to an article published by Trib Live, about one in every 20 people who died in the 20,247 reported accidents in Pittsburgh between 2018 and 2022 was a bicycle rider or pedestrian. This number is alarming and shows why it is important to take measures to reduce the risk of bicycle accidents.

Cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles can cause significant and life-threatening injuries to bicyclists.  A person on a bicycle lacks protection from the force and impact of a collision with a vehicle. As a result, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, cuts and lacerations, amputations, road burn, paralysis, and other severe injuries are likely to occur.

What do the ghost bikes around Pittsburgh mean?

When you see the ghost bike memorials across Pittsburgh, we are continuously reminded of the people who have been killed riding their bikes across the city. These memorials began popping up throughout the city way back in May 2004. Pittsburgh was the second city to allow installation of these memorials to recognize and honor those who we have lost in horrific bicycle accidents.

In April 2024, one of the city’s most recent ghost bike memorials was unveiled. Located downtown, it reminds folks about James Mills, a 67-year-old man who was killed by an 18-wheeler while cycling in the area in March 2024.

Why bike awareness month matters

The point of bike awareness month is to educate, inform, and promote bicycle safety around the country. Businesses, organizations, and advocates use this month to join together and promote awareness of bike safety.

Workshops and educational opportunities are often provided for the public and communities to learn about safe bicycle practices. Events often include a community bike ride, a workshop to hand out helmets and ensure that they fit properly, or showing young people how to ride and repair their bikes. By choosing to take part in these opportunities, you are helping make a difference and working toward creating a better and safer Pittsburgh for bicyclists.

Did Pittsburgh do anything for bike awareness month?

Pittsburgh held a variety of events for bike awareness month. Here are a few of the events that were recently held to promote bicycle safety:

  • Schenley Plaza pop-up event: PennDOT, AAA, Bike Pittsburgh, and Port Authority Police held a pop-up event at Schenley Plaza in Oakland. There were refreshments provided along with critical information about bicycle safety, rules and laws, and bicycle infrastructure.
  • Bike to work day: Bicycle riders were invited to ride their bikes to work together for bike to work day. Cafes and restaurants downtown also provided breakfast, snacks, and drinks for the bicyclists on their way to work.
  • Downtown open streets: Each year a free event is held downtown for bicycle riders and pedestrians to ride and walk around free of cars. The streets are closed to motor vehicles to give bicyclists and pedestrians the opportunity to enjoy these spaces without any fear of being hit or run over.
  • Ride of silence: This ride invites people who have lost a loved one or have been injured themselves while riding a bicycle. Participants ride in quiet to honor every person who has been killed or seriously injured on their bicycles across the city.

What causes bicycle accidents?

Many factors that play a role in causing bicycle accidents, such as:

Safety tips for motorists and cyclists

When it comes to preventing bicycle accidents, motorists and bicycle riders alike can increase safety for bicyclists and other vulnerable road users. Below are some important safety tips for motorists and bicycle riders to remember.


  • Always check your mirrors and blind spots before turning or changing lanes.
  • Give bicycle riders plenty of space when riding beside, behind, or passing
  • Slow down when driving near a bicyclist, especially if it is rainy or wet outside.
  • Give your full attention to the roadway. Refrain from doing anything that could be distracting.
  • Avoid becoming impatient or losing your cool with a bicycle rider. Road rage and aggressive driving kills.
  • Treat a bicyclist with the same respect that you would another motor vehicle driver. They have the same rights as you do.
  • Do not park or open your door in a bike lane.

Bicycle riders:

  • Wear a helmet, padding, closed-toe shoes, long sleeves, and pants.
  • Wear bright clothing, and use lights and reflectors when it’s dark.
  • Since you do not have turn signals, use hand signals to let other drivers know your next move.
  • Avoid any distractions when riding your bike.
  • Stay alert, focused, and concentrated on the road and your surroundings at all times.
  • Follow all traffic laws, rules, signs, and lights just like you would if you were driving a vehicle.
  • If there are bike lanes available, always choose to use them.
  • Check twice before turning or proceeding at an intersection.
  • Never assume that a vehicle driver sees you.

If you or a loved one suffer injuries from a bike accident, do not hesitate to reach out to the Pittsburgh bicycle accident lawyers at Carmody & Ging Injury & Accident Lawyers. We understand that even if you follow rules, regulations, and safety tips, bicycle accidents can still happen. When you hire us, we can do everything possible to hold the negligent driver accountable and secure the compensation you need to rebuild your life again. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.