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.
As a San Francisco Bicycle Accident Attorney, my experience has taught me that some of the most common threats are found where you might least expect them, so following these simple precautions may help you avoid bicycle injuries.
The masters of bicycle safety in San Francisco could well be the bicycle messengers. Why would I say this when we all see so many bike messengers disobeying the traffic laws? While some who scoff laws do act a bit self destructive, bicycle messengers put on more miles in more congested areas and avoid so many accidents daily through defensive and sometimes overly aggressive riding. While I do not condone the violation of the traffic laws, I do admire how the bicycle messengers look after themselves by doing sometimes annoying things like screaming as they ride through intersections. It may be annoying but when drivers know the bicyclist is in the intersection, they are far less likely to hit him or her.
A tight-knit community, part of the San Francisco Bike Messenger Association (SFBMA)‘s mission statement is:
“We the messengers of the Bay Area, known as the San Francisco Bike Messenger Association, or SFBMA, hereby state our mission; to promote unity and solidarity within the messenger community and to raise the status of our profession.”
They, of course, keep track of their own, and even hold fund-raisers to help out those couriers who are injured such as the “Hard-Luck Benefit Series” of concerts and the Joe Corio’s Groundhog Day “49-Mile Ride.” They have also established the Broken Bones Fund, a fund created to provide emergency financial assistance to injured San Francisco messengers.
While not the first bike messenger association–second to New York City which formed the Indepedent Courier Association in the 1980s–the SFBMA has been influential and dedicated the world Messenger Appreciation Day, October 9th, when Parté and Nosmo King, brainchilds behind the SFBMA, convinced Mayor Art Agnos to declare this a San Francisco holiday.
The bicycle messengers have it as part of their constitution to keep the bicycle community safe and protected from injuries in their statement to “Ally ourselves with workers in other industries under the principle that ‘an injury to one is an injury to all‘.”
It goes without saying that this radical group of enthusiastic cyclists traverse the serious hills of San Francisco and ride along with busy City drivers all day long on the job. They put themselves in harms way for the betterment of the community, cutting down their carbon footprint and city traffic, by hand-delivering hundreds of packages and documents to and from businesses. The bicycle messenger is an important member of our San Francisco community and should be protected from injuries.
About the author: Claude Wyle is an aggressive advocate for Bay Area bicyclists. Claude has decades of experience representing those harmed by the wrongful conduct of others, and, as a San Francisco bicycle accident attorney, has fought to protect the rights of injured cyclists throughout his legal career. Claude is also an avid cyclist himself and member of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and is a sponsor of Safe Routes to School.