With National Bike Month comes more people on bikes, from commuters to our local students. It also brings a need for extra precautions from our local drivers.

By now, most people know that driving while using a cell phone (or distracted driving of any kind) is not safe, but did you know that it takes a driver nearly 30 seconds to fully refocus on the road after using a cell phone? In only 30 seconds time, a car moving at 25 mph can travel the length of three football fields. One of the easiest ways to reduce accidents, and keep each other safe, is to turn off the phone, or store it in the glove compartment while driving.

In addition to putting down the phone, other important safe driving habits include:

Slowing down - Speed limits in neighborhoods and school zones are reduced for a reason. The lower speed limits help reduce number of accidents by decreasing stopping time, and reduces the severity when accidents do happen.

Coming to a complete stop - Check carefully for children on sidewalks, driveways and in crosswalks before proceeding.

Making space - allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and pedestrians/bicyclists.

Supporting an environment that encourages our local bike, walk and bus commuters goes a long way in keeping our community safe, and reducing traffic for all of us.