Friday, April 10, 2009
I read an interesting statistic the other day. In over 80% of bicycle accidents the cyclist is in some way at fault. Now that's not to say that the motorist or pedestrian you've run into hasn't also contributed to the accident in some way. For example getting doored, the motorist should have looked before they opened their door right in your face, but you shouldn't have been riding in the door zone.
That affectionate couple that just wandered obliviously into your path, in the dark, dressed in black, should have looked before they crossed the road, but you should have been ready to give them a honk or a tinkle. Pedestrians are strange contrary creatures, you really have to watch them. I've made eye contact with people on the side of the road and they've then proceeded to step out right in front of me!
In particular beware of the now ubiquitous ipod zombie! And don't be one yourself! Riding without your ears is short changing your safety, you should be using all the senses you have to keep aware of what is going on on the road around you. You need to be observing. You can't let yourself fall into a dream no matter how familiar your commute is or how beatiful the weather might be in this beautiful South Pacific City. Look at things. When you’re riding a bike in traffic you need to stay focused. At any single instant there can be a hundred things poised to knock you off balance.
Don't end up like this guy!
It's nice to smile and nod at other cyclists but don't get too distracted.
If you're going to cross an intersection on a red light, stop and have a good look around first. Don't just take your chances and bomb on through. It's just not worth it.