Types Of Bike-Car Crashes

This story brought the issue to mind:

A teenaged girl was injured trying to cross Interstate 20 in Bossier City early today, police there report.

The unidentified 13-year-old cyclist, who police at first said appeared to be in her early 20s, was struck by a westbound Ford Taurus just after 7 a.m. as she tried to cross the superhighway in front of the Louisiana state police Troop G headquarters.

I’d really like to know how many car related cycling injuries are suffered by kids and utilitarian cyclists as opposed to spandex types like me. Most people I ride with at least know someone who has been hit by a car, but I still bet it’s rare for sport cyclists to get hit. The reason is that most of us, even if we annoy drivers, know how to stay relatively safe: Be predictable, wear visible clothes, ride like a car. On the other hand, how many folks are there who get off work as a dishwasher at midnight, hop on their lightless and reflectorless old beater, and pedal in dark clothes on the wrong side of the road to the house? My guess is quite a few. I’d also guess they’re the majority of the car casualties, too.

If I’m right, there’s a corollary. Because sport cyclists know how to ride relatively safely, most of the time when there’s a wreck, the car driver is at fault. For the utilitarians, not so. If they had only known and followed a few safety rules, they’d have made it home.

I’m only guessing here. I may be totally wrong. In any event, everyone really ought to pay more attention to what they’re doing.

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