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02-08-07, 08:05 PM
So, Where I live, (its been a while since i posted, :-) there's a fair deal of cyclists. hu huh, therer's also a fair deal of SUV's. And by SUV, i mean Stupid drivers that don't watch out for cyclists and sooner or later i'm gonna end up Under the wheels of their Vehicle. SUV's. There was recently, like 10-11 months ago, a huge shopping center constructed not 5 miles from my house. Now, there's like, a grocery store, the equivilent to several strip malls worth of stores, and needless to say many many peds. I'm thinking of going around putting up flyers (with consent of store owners/managers) that basically say 'Watch out for cyclists, Drive Safe' maybe have just a few VERY simple law-reminders. y'know, 3 feet, cyclists have the right-of-way, stuff like that. then maybe a ratio, like how many cyclists are killer per year due to wreckless drivers and whatnot. I don't expect this to do much, or people to even read it, but after a near fatal accident i feel sort of...not obligated, but COMPELLED and maybe inspired to do SOMEthing to help prevent vehicle/cyclist accidents. SO, if anyone has any ideas, c'mon an share! I'm just trying to keep it simple, i figure people aren't really gonna wanna read something if they really have to try! lol. thanks all.
02-09-07, 07:31 AM
Look at what you personally could have done to avoid your "near fatal accident." Modifying your own behavior will go a lot further in protecting you than attempting to modify a few of the millions of motorists' behaviors. If you need suggestions as to how you could have possibly avoided your accident and for changes in your riding style to prevent the same thing from happening again, you've come to the right place :)
02-09-07, 08:00 AM
I ignore raw numbers in anything I read on most topics unless the number is in the thousands...
Just pulling numbers out of the air for demonstration of my point... If I were told that 500 cyclists were killed last year in accidents involving a motor vehicle, it would tell me nothing unless I knew one of the 500... I would have some empathy if I were an uninformed driver, but I would wonder....
How many cyclists were not involved in incidents?
How many cyclists were involved in similar non-fatal accidents?
What percentage of the accidents were preventable by or caused by the cyclist?
What other activities caused 500 deaths last year?
If cycling on the streets is so dangerous, why isn't the answer to get them off the road?
Throwing raw numbers may influence some, but probably only the ones that would be impacted just as much by hearing about one cycling fatality on tv in the newspaper.
Writing a letter to the editor of your local paper describing the danger you were put in by a hazardous driver would probably reach more people... Be logical and informative rather than inflammatory. Also expect someone to send the editor a letter describing why bikes shouldn't be allowed on the road within a few days if your letter is published. (This is what happened to me) A couple of people at work read my letter to the editor, so I know they get read by people other than me.
I agree that our best defense is to be defensive drivers, whether in a car or on a bike, but I wouldn't let that discourage you from finding another aspect to address. I don't expect any signs or hand outs to make the roads safe... but every little bit helps. Making the roads even slightly more safe is a worthy use of time.