As an avid cyclist and as a parent residing in Mill Valley, CA, I'm particularly interested in learning the most dangerous intersections in my bicycle-friendly town. Mill Valley is very bicycle-oriented and I like to claim that Mill Valley is the birthplace of mountain biking.
I've previously written about bicycle safety tips to help my fellow cyclists by promoting what I think are some of the safest cycling habits. Cycling is supposed to be about fun, healthy exercise and it should also help us to relate well to the environment. Safe bicycling habits will help to prevent bicycle accidents, particularly bicycle collisions with cars, and thereby bicycle injuries.
The Golden Gate Bridge staff wants to impose a 10 mph speed limit on bicyclists - with a $100 fine for violators - following a year-long study by Alta Planning & Design that excluded input from local cycling groups. The speed limit would drop to 5 mph around the blind corners of the bridge's towers and in construction areas. There currently is no speed limit for bicycles on the bridge. The plan is intended to reduce bike-related collisions. With up to 6,000 cyclists using the bridge on busy days, the study says speed was cited as a factor in 64 crashes during the decade from 2000 to 2009. The other 101 bike crashes during that time were attributed to causes like inexperience.
I often end up reporting in this column about bicycle accidents, but what I am writing about today was no bicycle accident! This was an attack on bicycle riders! As an avid bicyclist myself and a San Francisco bike injury lawyer, I am outraged by the story that developed late Wednesday night in the Mission and Potrero Districts. Three San Francisco cyclists wereapparently targeted by a driver in some sort of road rage episode. According to witnesses, the driver intentionally hit four bicyclists as they rode on the public street.
Let me see if I have this straight: the Highway Loss Data Institute, which sounds like a legitimate institution, but is actually another sham insurance organization posing as an "Institute," looked at accident rates before and after cell phone bans took effect in New York, the District of Columbia, Connecticut and California.
Last month I wrote about bike helmets for kids and how important they are to bicycle safety. You may recall that studies show 75% of bicycle related deaths are due to head injuries.
I need to alert you today about a bicycle recall. The bike in question is the 2010 Redline Conquest Pro Bicycles and Framesets. There were about 350 of these bikes sold, and they were distributed by Seattle Bike Supply, of Kent, Washington.
One of the reasons bicycling so often leads to injuries is that parents treat their child's bicycle as a toy. They're not toys, they're vehicles. Ray Hall, cycling and road safety instructor says, "You wouldn't give your child a mini-bike and say go out and play, and bikes should be treated like a mini-bike, because they have the same power as a mini-bike or mini-motorcycle. So if you think of it as a small motorcycle, then it's more obvious how you should deal with the machines," and be alert for the possible of bicycle accidents leading to injuries in children. Even tricycles have the potential for cycling injuries according to Barb Wentworth, Cycling Coordinator for the City of Toronto. She says parents need to stay with their children when they're tricycling because children often have difficulty in controlling their first "bicycle" and falls can happen at any time. Even though trikes are low to the ground, there can still be a bicycle head injury or trauma from a fall. This is important inasmuch as studies show 75% of bicycle related deaths are due to head injuries. Because of the seriousness of head injuries it's very important for parents to insist that their children wear a helmet.
In addition to making sure your children are wearing bike helmets, the second major area of concern with cycling is road safety. Most experts agree that children shouldn't be riding in traffic until, developmentally, they can handle such a complex task. Until a child hits about 12 years old, they're not mentally capable of judging speed and distance to be able to be let out in traffic by themselves. But don't let the warning against traffic lead you to assume that the sidewalk is completely safe. Serious collisions with motor vehicles can occur even on sidewalks.
We learned yesterday that the sentencing of Dr. Christopher Thompson, the man convicted of six felonies including assault with a deadly weapon—his car—after he seriously injured several bicyclists in Los Angeles’ Mandeville Canyon, has been delayed until January 8, 2010.