Blog Entry. 2013-08-30
Distracted driving- vehicles and bikes
This morning is a great morning to be out !!
It's the last day of August, high wispy clouds, and dry roads. A perfect day for a ride, be it a local ride, a training ride, or a trek type outing. I am on my way to Vancouver Island to visit family, and no I am not riding, I am driving.
As I was headed out to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal I did pass a number of riders out on this glorious BC morning. None of them had lights to the back of their bikes, that I saw. Only a couple had reflective vests, or anything reflective worn. I will pull out the silver lining, that being that all were wearing helmets.
If you have followed this blog you will know that helmets, reflective vests and lights are a common theme of mine. Safety first, safety last, safety always.
The radio warned about accidents on this long weekend, saying there will be about 2200 in total, and I am regretfully certain some of those will be fatal in nature and some will involve cyclists. I am truly sorry for the families that lose a loved one, especially if it didn't have to happen.
That brings me to the point of this entry- distracted driving.
They said distracted driving is now the single biggest cause of accidents, passing impaired driving. I spoke with an RCMP traffic officer the other day and he said one in three accidents are from distracted driving. Cell phones and electronic devises are the core of this epidemic.I must admit that I have looked down at my phone, and I have answered my phone while driving. I am putting my phone aside and leaving it until it is safe to answer. If the President of the United States, or the Prime Minster of CANADA want to call me I am sure they will make contact via hands free for both sides.
Distracted driving either in a vehicle or on a bike can take many forms. I have spoken about vehicles, so lets refocus back on bikes and cyclists in particular.
Riding is an endeavour that takes full concentration at all times, in my opinion that goes without saying.
The four core concepts of CAN- BIKE
Manoeuverability visibility predictability communication
Also referred to asSEE, BE SEEN, BE HEARD, BE PREDICTABLE
I see riders with their ear buds in both ears all the time. I can only assume they have their favourite tunes going. I won't ask what the sound level is at.
Drivers that use their cell phones and electronic devises are a danger on the road and not watching for and being cognizant of other road users, especially cyclists.Cyclists that, God forbid, use electronic devises while riding, are as big a danger and hazard as the car drivers.
Cyclists that use and listen to ear buds in both ears are just as big a danger, and just as distracted. In fact I believe even more of a danger/hazard because they can't hear the vehicle coming up from behind you.
Bottom line distracted driving and more over distracted riding can be the cause and is becoming the cause of more accidents both vehicles and cyclists from minor to fatal.
Take the time to enjoy your surroundings when you ride.
Listening to tunes is great and has a time and place, but that place isn't while cycling.
Thanks for stopping by,Safe ride home.