|Trace The Mitten|
Neither of these two accidents involved me or a bicycle, but they make me think about safety because they occurred at two different major intersections during daylight only a half mile east and west away from my place. I cycle through these about everyday.
These intersections are major county road arteries and bother spread to six lanes wide with motor vehicles going every which way. The speed limit is 45 through the crossing.
Crosswalks are used by pedestrians and cyclists. I abide by the crosswalk signal and I am always alert to what the speeding and standing cars may do that could involve me. I stand there feeling very small and vulnerable. Accidents today may have occurred because a driver misjudged or was not focused. How many times have you seen someone talking on the phone as they were during.
Rules that I try to remember.
1. Don't figure that they see you. Bright colors do help, but there are no guarantees of being seen.
2. Don't make assumptions about what the driver will do. What did they tell me? When you ASSUME, you make an ASS of U and ME.
3. Do not blindly enter a crosswalk. The crosswalk light may be one, but it may mean that "You were dead right." In may early years I remember being told, "Stop, Look and Listen when crossing a street."
4. Make eye contact with drivers. Smile . Wave. They will usual do it back at you.
5. Obey the lights. We expect drivers to follow signals and drivers get upset, and rightfully so, when people disregard the rules of the road.
6. Don't encourage road rage. We hear too many terrible stories about good judgement going out the window and resulting in injury and death. Gestures and profane language only escalate the situation. I remember that my bike is smaller than the car and much slower. People have very good memories when it comes to "jerks".
7. Hand signals can be confusing. "You go. NO, You go. NO NO, you go.... Don't make the situation uncertain.
8. Figure that everyone is in a hurry and their mind is thinking about where they are going. When I bike I am in a hurry too. I am trying meet some important achievement that can seem trivial if I am injured or I cause an accident.
9. Have a plan. When a situation is looking out of control where do I go and what will I do?
10. Many drivers will go into the crosswalk so they can see the cross traffic. Watch out.
What can you suggest to add. Be safe