Every day you see at least one or two bicyclists as you’re driving home. Usually, you don’t have to worry about them too much, because they’re generally careful and respectful around traffic. However, today you witnessed a biker doing something so careless and idiotic, you could barely take your eyes off him.
You were making your turn around Dupont Circle when you noticed a biker weaving in and out of traffic. He had one hand on his bike handle, and his other was holding what appeared to be his phone. He kept looking down at it, and pressing buttons, all while jerking his bike back and forth. Suddenly, you saw him take his other hand off of the bike (removing any type of control he may have had), pluck his headphones out of his ears, and raise the phone to take a call.
Approximately two seconds later, he lost his balance and fell down. The cars around him screeched to a halt as the biker’s phone went flying. You managed to brake about three feet behind the fallen biker, whereupon you heard the crunch of his phone under your wheel.
Although you’re glad you were able to stop, and the biker appeared to be okay, you couldn’t help wondering: what could he possibly have been thinking?
Putting Aside Distractions to Decrease Bike Accident Risks
Bike riding is supposed to be a relaxing—even serene—experience. However, with new laws, increased traffic, technological distractions, and oblivious pedestrians, it has become a delicate balance of stress, danger, and risk. However, you can help bring the serenity and safety back into your ride by following these simple steps:
- Put your phone away. No text, no call, and no status update is important enough to put your life or the lives of the people around you at risk. Put the phone away and use it only after you’ve safely come to a stop.
- Don’t use headphones. Headphones can muffle warning sounds and signals of danger, such as brakes squealing or pedestrians shouting.
- Focus on your line of sight, both near and far. Since you have very little protection surrounding your body, and simple cracks in the sidewalk could cause you to lose balance, it’s not only important to watch out for upcoming hazards, but immediate hazards as well.
Nearly 50,000 bicyclists are injured or killed every year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. So, when bicycle risks are so high, why would you want to willingly increase your risks of an accident by deliberately putting yourself at risk? Don’t add to the accident statistics; instead of endangering yourself, try to stay safe, remain focused, and keep the manageable distractions at bay. A lot of dangers are out of your control; don’t increase your risks with hazards that you can control.
Help us protect your friends and family from a careless bike accident. Use your social media connections to help spread the word about biker safety and the dangers of distractions. Share this page on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus, to not only keep your loved ones informed, but to also keep our roads clear and safe. Share now!