People often talk about how dangerous bike-vs-car accidents can be, but then you still see plenty of motorists who crowd bikes on the shoulder of the road, make dangerous passing maneuvers and honk their horns to bully cyclists who are riding slower than they’d like to drive.
The problem is that many people don’t understand exactly how bad a bike accident can be. To shed some light on what it’s really like, here is one cyclist’s harrowing story.
“I was riding in the agricultural flatlands near my house, on this road with a massive shoulder that goes by strawberry farms,” he said in an interview. “It was early evening but it was still light outside and I was on my way home. There was a traffic light about 500 meters away and that’s the last thing I remember seeing. Anything I know about the crash is, at best, third-hand info.
“I guess a guy was leaving work at the strawberry fields and he made a left hand turn right in front of me. I went from 50 kilometers an hour to zero in a second; my head crashed through the window and shattered the glass. You have six jugular veins in your neck; I severed two.”
It’s crucial for drivers to understand exactly what an accident means for a cyclist. All it takes is a moment of inattention. That driver made a very simple mistake, perhaps never seeing the bike. He likely was not hurt at all. The cyclist almost died.
When drivers feel frustrated by slow bicycles or annoyed that they have to share the road, it helps to think about the ramifications of an accident. It can give them some perspective and help them act safely.
Unfortunately, not all drivers will do this. If you get injured in an accident, you need to know what legal options you have to seek compensation.