I witnessed a cycling accident yesterday and it prompted this post. It happened during my morning commute on a quiet section of a bikeway. No automobiles, no pedestrians, just two cyclists in a hurry. It was raining, cold and windy but the visibility was good and there was no traffic. No traffic. One cyclist was travelling quickly and on the back wheel of the rider ahead. The lead rider decided to turn right and quickly slowed to make a sharp turn The rider behind could not stop quickly enough, crashed into the bike ahead, both lost control of their bikes and fell to the ground. Neither rider was seriously hurt but the incident could have easily been avoided.
Too few cyclists signal when they are turning, stopping or slowing downing.
Unlike an automobile, a bike is not equipped with stop lights that automatically signal the car is slowing or stopping. And, they do have lighted turn signals that clearly indicate the driver’s intent to turn. It cannot tell others what it is doing. That is your job. The dangers are the same. Cars and other cyclists follow too closely, change lanes and make turns unexpectedly. Pedestrians cross streets (and bike paths). Traffic on the street needs to know what your intention is so they can act accordingly – change lanes or not, cross the street or not or proceed through an intersection or not.
Use the signals illustrated above and make the road a safer place for both yourself and everyone around you!