Everyone who bikes regularly in traffic has considered the possibility and consequences of a crash. For many cyclists, it’s their biggest fear and for some it prevents them from riding on the road at all. This, despite the fact that you’re more likely to be involved in a crash in an automobile than on a bike. Perhaps it is just our extra feeling of vulnerability, being exposed and relatively small compared to the motor vehicle.
In today’s episode of Go By Bike, Dave (of the Banana Ride fame), talks to me about bike safety and perspective after a recent crash with a car. Find out what happened and why Dave still considers biking safe and enjoyable.
I’m very glad that Dave was (more or less) ok after his recent incident, and was willing to talk about it on camera. As he mentioned on screen, his main message is to be more visible. It’s a good reminder to those of us who travel regularly by bike to re-assess our strategies to visibility and safety. Keep in mind that Dave was riding in the dark in the very early morning when drivers may or may not be awake or paying attention. The number of crashes with cars during the daylight hours are less because (surprise!) we’re generally more visible then.
Now that the daylight is changing quickly but the weather still relatively warm (at least here in NC!) it’s a good time to think about your lighting systems and other items you use to be visible at night, as well as your assumptions about your visibility. I think a great strategy is to aim for high visibility with front, back AND side lights, but assume people can’t see you well in the dark and ride extra defensively as a result. That way you get the most of both sides of that coin.
Leave any comments below. Have you been involved in a crash before? Does this kind of interview make you more scared to ride or offer some utility? Thanks for your feedback.
Go By Bike is a daily video series that talks about how to be green by riding more and using your car less, including electric bikes, electric kits, cargo bikes, bike safety, and getting motivated to bike
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