Your Chief Wants To Keep Bicyclists Safe

1
274

(By Matthew R. Love) This time of the year we see an increase in outdoor activities as well as popular alternative modes of transportation found on our islands. To best prepare local cyclers, we want to remind residents and visitors to avoid distraction and to share the road.

There were 857 bicyclists killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2018.  As you might expect, when a crash occurs between a vehicle and a bike, it’s the cyclist who is most likely to be injured. 

There are two main types of crashes for cyclists, the most common is falls and the most serious is with cars.  Regardless of the season, bicyclist deaths occurred most often between 6 pm and 9 pm.

Alcohol was involved in 37% of all fatal bicyclist crashes in 2017. A large amount of crashes can be avoided if motorists and cyclists follow the rules of the road and watch out for each other. 

Here are some safety tips for cyclists and drivers to assist in keeping our community safe:

Bicycle Safety Tips:

  • Always wear a helmet, but equally important ensure the helmet fits properly 
  • Ride a bike that fits you – if it’s too big, it’s harder to control the bike.
  • Ride a bike that works – it really doesn’t matter how well you ride if the brakes don’t work.
  • Wear equipment to protect you and make you more visible to others, like a bike helmet, bright clothing (during the day), reflective gear, and a white front light and red rear light reflectors on your bike (at night, or when visibility is poor).
  • Ride one per seat, with both hands on the handlebars, unless signaling a turn.
  • Carry all items in a backpack or strapped to the back of the bike.
  • Tuck and tie your shoelaces and pant legs so they don’t get caught in your bike chain.
  • Drive with the flow, in the same direction as traffic.
  • Obey street signs, signals, and road markings, just like a car.
  • Assume the other person doesn’t see you; look ahead for hazards or situations to avoid that may cause you to fall, like toys, pebbles, potholes, grates, and train tracks.
  • Don’t text, listen to music or use anything that distracts you by taking your eyes, ears, or mind off of the road and traffic.

Driver Safety Tips:

  • Yield to bicyclists as you would motorists and do not underestimate their speed.  This will help avoid turning in front of a bicyclist traveling on the road or sidewalk, often at an intersection or driveway. 
  • In parking lots, at stop signs, when backing up, or when parking, search your surroundings for other vehicles, including bicycles.
  • Drivers turning right on red should look to the right and behind to avoid hitting a bicyclist approaching from the right rear.  Stop completely and look left-right-left and behind before turning right on a red.
  • Obey the speed limit, reduce speed for road conditions and drive defensively to avoid a crash with a cyclist.
  • Give cyclists room.  Do not pass too closely.  Pass bicyclists as you would any other vehicle – when it’s safe to move over into an adjacent lane.

We hope this information is a great reminder and that everyone works together to keep our community safe this season!

1 COMMENT

  1. The bicycles are being ridden on the sidewalks, nearly missing people walking. Many bicyclists do not stop at cross streets while riding on the sidewalk, causing near misses with cars. If bicycles are not allowed on sidewalks, this should be enforced.

Comments are closed.