I have recently spent time in the Tampa Bay area as part of my annual spring training tour. I have been consulting for the New York Yankees for fifteen years and this year, I have also been invited up to Lakeland, Florida to discuss the early recognition and treatment of concussion with the Detroit Tigers medical staff.
While here, two bicyclists have died from injuries after being hit by motorists. A total of 15 bicyclists have died in the Tampa Bay area since July of 2010. This situation has captured my attention because it may indicate that we should expect more injuries in Connecticut this year as weather warms and gas prices soar.
I am also alarmed by the fact that despite the usual precautions of wearing a helmet, making yourself visible and remaining alert, many may still be harmed. The reason for many of these incidents is distracted driving. More drivers are now texting, or trying to make a call while operating a vehicle. In the split second that these drivers divert their attention away from the road, bicycle riders can be hit and severely injured.
The only recourse is for bicyclists to be vigilant at all times and to avoid riding in traffic when possible. If we are to encourage bicycling as an alternative means of transportation, communities must crack down on distracted drivers and create safer bike lanes for travel.
What ideas do you have for safer bicycle travel?
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