Cycling is a popular activity in the Triangle. Solo and in packs, some riders clock dozens of miles in a single outing. And then there are those who ride shorter distances – some bike to work, while some are casual riders.
But roads are especially dangerous for cyclists, with traffic fatalities for cyclists increasing 19 percent nationally from 2010 to 2013, the most recent year of available statistics.
Steven Goodridge, the N.C. Bicycle Club’s education officer, has worked with local police departments on traffic safety for cyclists. The most common violations that lead to crashes, he says, are cyclists who go against traffic, don’t use lights, or fail to yield at cross streets or driveways. Motorists, he says, are at their most dangerous turning left in front of cyclists, emerging from a side street while a bicycle has the right-of-way on the main road, trying to pass bikes in narrow lanes, or driving drunk, distracted or reckless.
Yet there are ways for cyclists to stay safe – or at least minimize risk. We collected safety tips for both cyclists and motorists from Goodridge, plus David Zell of Raleigh’s Oak City Cycling Project; Tim Pflaum and Evan Brigham of Raleigh’s Oaks ...