Drive My Bike


Accidents Are Happening… Stay Alert… Ride Safely!
June 24, 2009, 10:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

As I left the office yesterday afternoon I noticed that the traffic was backed up more than it usually is, and I could see emergency vehicles up ahead.

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As I got closer I realized that the emergency vehicles were located mostly on the shoulder, not in the main traffic lanes. The fire truck and EMT vehicles pulled away as I got closer, and I pondered how I was going to weave my way through the police cars that remained. One of the policemen got into his vehicle and began to move, so I slowed down and waited for him as he pulled further out of traffic. Suddenly I noticed that there was a bicycle on the shoulder, with a completely crumpled front wheel! I was still trying to make my way through the police and onlookers, as well as the line of cars, so I couldn’t really pause to take it all in, but I noticed the cyclist sitting on the tailgate of a pickup. He looked like he was okay, and I didn’t notice any blood or scrapes, so I’m thinking that he must have been able to bail out before the vehicle hit him. If I had it to do over again I would have probably stopped and tried to talk to the cyclist or get some pictures, but I was so flustered by all of this that I just got clear of the accident and kept on pedaling.

There have been several accidents between cars and cyclists in our town as things have warmed up and more people have been riding,but seeing something like this on my regular route shook me up a bit. Even though I didn’t know the person that got hit, It just made it a lot more personal that this was a guy whom I could easily meet on any given day as we made our commutes.

In fact, it could have been me.

When I got home I found out that there had been another accident downtown earlier in the day, and the cyclist was killed. It sounds like this was just a freak thing, because the driver was diabetic and apparently went into diabetic shock and had no idea that she had even hit anyone.

That is scary.

We as bicyclists have to remember that we can do everything possible to be visible…

  • lights
  • reflective gear
  • bright clothing
  • taking the lane
  • knowing the rules of the road
  • etc.

…but even well intentioned drivers can still have situations which put us at risk!

When you got your driver’s license you were probably taught “defensive driving”. This is basically staying aware of your surroundings, and anticipating what the other drivers are doing, and being ready to respond if something goes wrong.

When you ride your bike be sure you practice “defensive riding”. Enjoy your ride, but stay alert! Always be aware of your surroundings. Don’t assume that drivers can see you. Make sure that your bike is in good condition to ride. Check your brakes, tires, quick releases, etc.

Bicycling is a wonderful thing when done right. Please do your part to ride safely.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hey Scott,
here is a link to a site where bike related crashes, hazards and thefts can be tracked within an area.
http://www.bikewise.org/

If you look in the Salt Lake area, you will see where some things have already been posted.

Bobby D.

Comment by Bobby D

Cool site Bobby, thanks! I didn’t see that accident I saw yesterday posted yet. I just found out about the site from you, so hopefully more people will become aware and post good information.

BTW, I’d still love to do some rides together… any ideas?

Comment by Scott




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