Bikes and Cars--An Uneasy Mix

I had to share this article I saw in Medill Reports concerning the uneasy mix of bikes and cars on the roads.

As a driver and bicyclist, I can certainly empathize with both groups. I've certainly been doored, knocked into potholes, run off the road, and overall treated as if I was invisible by cars.

On the other hand, I will be the first to say that some bikers are less than studious in their adherence to the safety laws and often take chances that they shouldn't, especially at intersections.

So, I guess the "lesson" here is we should be a bit more aware of each other. Bikers have to remember that cars will usually "win" any "arguments" while drivers have to be constantly aware of bikes in their blind spots, near them, and be careful not to turn in front of them.

What I recommend for bikers is lights and reflectors as well as stopping at stop signs (unless you want to take a chance that a 3,000 pound vehicle with its driver on the phone, doing nails, eating etc. will avoid you. I used to laugh at lights but now I love them. I can see other bikers much easier when they have flashing helmet or backpack lights on and it DOES make it much easier for cars to see them.

Drivers need to remember that even if you HATE these "stupid bikers" who "run lights, cut in and out of traffic" and generally annoy you, you are still responsible for your car's actions. If you see something and can avoid it, you must. Doesn't mean you have to be happy about it or that it won't make you late to your meeting, your date, or your yoga class. It might even wear down your brakes. But that is life in the big city.


So I call upon my fellow bikers to be a bit more cognizant of their surroundings and ask my fellow drivers to do the same.

Hopefully, we can coexist since some of us belong to both groups!

Categories: General