Bike safety

Spring is here and

so is the danger

About two weeks ago, I was hit by a car while riding my bicycle in Poulsbo. The cause of the accident was inattentive driving on the part of the driver of the car. My injuries were serious, but not life-threatening and my bike suffered some damage in the collision. I was very lucky. I would like to express my thanks to the witnesses who stopped to help me and to the Poulsbo Police and North Kitsap paramedics who responded to the scene.

Spring is here with improved weather conditions and it is possible more people will be riding bicycles to save money on transportation. So, it seems to me like a good time to remind both cyclists and motor vehicle drivers of some important safety considerations.

Cyclists: Follow the rules of the road. Stop at stop signs and signal your intention. Wear your helmet and high-visibility clothing. Don’t talk on your cell phone (I’ve seen this) and don’t use electronic music devices while riding. Use flashers and/or lights if you are riding where there is low visibility, like darkness and fog. Keep your bike in good working condition.

Motor vehicle drivers: Follow the rules of the road. Give that cyclist enough room whether there is a bike lane or not. Be patient, it will not make a difference in your life if you get somewhere five minutes faster if the trade-off is endangering a cyclist. Concentrate on your driving — don’t talk on your cell phone. Drive alertly and defensively — keeping in mind that when it comes to size, a cyclist is no match for a car.

I am thankful I am alive to be able to write this letter. Cyclists and motorists each have responsibilities and rights. Please take this advice to heart. A cyclist could be your parent, your partner, your child, your neighbor or your friend. Let’s look out for each other.



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