Pay Attention, Cyclists!

I have written before about how drivers need to pay attention to cyclists on the road.  I’m always very careful to give cyclists a wide berth.

This morning, on my way to work, I almost hit a cyclist.

It’s a foggy morning here in DC, and I was at a stoplight.  The light turned green and as always, I paused a second or two for the cars that inevitably run the light (yellow means speed up, right?)  I started to go and a cyclist came barreling through the intersection.  I slammed on my brakes in time, but it felt much too close for comfort.

The sun was just starting to come up and it was foggy.  The cyclist was in bright yellow and had flashing lights on her bike, but I didn’t see her coming and certainly didn’t expect her to blow the light.

Now, the intersection I was at is in a dip in the road, meaning that you come downhill and then go back uphill.  That makes stopping on your bike both difficult and annoying. But I cross through that intersection regularly while biking and I just do it and then fight my way up the hill without the benefit of momentum.  Sure, it’s nice when the lights work in your favor, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen.

Cyclists have every right to be on the road.  But they have to follow the rules of the road, just like the rest of us.  If you blow a light in your car, you might get in a fender bender.  Maybe it won’t be bad.  If you get hit on your bike though, you’re taking a much bigger risk of serious injury or death.

So if you’re out on the road, follow the rules.  If cyclists and drivers both follow the rules and have mutual respect for each other, everyone will be much safer.

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