Just five days after returning home from completing a fifty-two-day bicycle trip from coast to coast across the United States, I was struck by a car and severely injured just two miles from my home. It was not an accident. By definition an accident happens by chance or without apparent or deliberate cause. However, this is not the case when a car collides with a bicycle on the road. Either the cyclist, driver or both violated the motor vehicle safety laws and caused the collision. In all collisions between a bicycle and a motor vehicle someone is guilty of carelessness or negligence.
However, regardless of who is at fault, it’s the cyclist who is most likely to be injured or killed. The first step in keeping yourself safe when cycling is to be alert of the traffic around you at all times and follow the same motor vehicle safety laws as motorists. Nevertheless, as in my case, you can do everything right and still be stuck by a motor vehicle. Hence the adage, “You can be dead right”.
As a friend and two-time coast to coast cycler once complained, it’s like wearing the Cloak of Invisibility while cycling. To improve your safety on the road you need to be noticed. Over the next several post I will talk about what I do to be more visible to motorist on the road.Ken Whittaker