Driving the Future: The freedom to get around—safely

J. Skyler McKinley

It’s true that “AAA” originally stood for the American Automobile Association, a fact I remind my mechanic friends whenever I need to burnish my gearhead credentials. Over the years, we’ve grown to support the idea that all travelers have the right to go where they need to with safety, security, and peace of mind—no matter how they choose to get around. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a car guy through and through, but now I’m exercising my right to use other tools, including mass transit, dockless scooters, ride-hailing apps, and even my own two feet, whether that’s hoofing around town in my cowboy boots or strapped into the pedals of a bicycle. 

The thing I’ve learned is that much of our transportation infrastructure was designed for the car at the expense of other travelers. For example, Colorado pedestrian deaths have nearly doubled over the past decade, with bicycle-involved fatalities not far behind.  That’s why, as part of our time-honored mission to make roads safer for all travelers, AAA is proud to partner with Bicycle Colorado, the state’s top bicycle-advocacy organization, to sponsor a couple special virtual sessions of their Bicycle-Friendly Driver program—just for AAA members.

You may be thinking, “I know how to drive around bicyclists!” I’m sure most of us do. Still, with more Coloradans bicycling than ever, and new bike infrastructure popping up across the state and country, this sort of brush-up will make driving safer and more fun for everyone.

To date, Bicycle Colorado has certified more than 2,000 drivers, and to rave reviews. In fact, 97 percent felt they will be a safer, more aware, and more confident driver alongside bicyclists as a result of this course.

As a fourth-generation Coloradan, what makes this a special place to call home is our commitment to looking out for our neighbors. I’m excited that AAA, the state’s largest automotive organization, is joining forces with Colorado’s most prominent bicycle organization to keep people safe on our roadways. It’s the Colorado way, and it’s part of how we work to drive the future—even when the future doesn’t always involve driving.

To register for these special AAA member Bicycle-Friendly Driver training sessions, visit at AAA.com/BikeSafe. I look forward to seeing you at those trainings, and out there in Colorado! 

J. Skyler McKinley is AAA Colorado’s spokesman and director of government affairs.