Sharing the road with bicyclists
We live in a so-called sharing economy, so why are drivers so unwilling to share the road? Ours is a state where pedaling a bike on the roadway is dangerous to one’s health.
Florida has the highest death rates in the nation for bicyclists, 10 times higher than the safest state (Vermont) and more than double the national average. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a new report on bicyclist deaths associated with motor vehicle traffic. It shows that while traveling by bike accounts for about 1 percent of trips, bicyclists die on U.S. roads at a rate that is double that of vehicle occupants. The study notes that the mortality rate for men is six times greater than that of women, as men are typically more likely to view biking as a sport and mode of transportation.
A news article on bicycle safety plans in Florida said it is a matter of enforcement, education and engineering. Roads and speed limits just aren’t that bike-friendly. Is the solution wider bike lanes, slower traffic, police ticketing reckless drivers? Bike advocates say grassroots education is the key. Drivers simply think they own the road and don’t want to share with cyclists.
The League of American Bicyclists has a Bike Friendly America program that offers tools to make bicycling safer and a real transportation option. Check out information on insuring a high-end bike and keeping safe out there.
Note to motorists: Living in today’s sharing economy includes sharing the road with bicyclists. “Driving nice” doesn’t cost you a thing!