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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Left Side of Road Safer for Bicycles

Now that the weather has cooled down and heat from the roads has abated THE GUARDIAN has taken note of more and more people out and about on bicycles. It is time to take a serious look at the practice of riding bicycles on the right side of the road. Bicyclists have no chance in the event of a collision with cars, trucks and buses.

I use my bicycle to roll around town on errands to pay bills, banking and just for the fun and exercise it allows for my aging joints and muscles. I have had what I perceive to be no less than three near misses in the last few days with cars passing me when I am on narrow streets with two way traffic. Vehciles are on top of you before you have a chance to react to a life threatening situation.

It hit my brain that pedestrians are encouraged to walk on the left side of the road. Why not the same encouragements and permissions for bicycles to be on the left side of the road as well? I have moved over to the left side of the road and guess what? No more near misses with cars and trucks! It is amazing what eye contact does to eliminate poor judgement on the parts of drivers unwilling to cede right of way to bicycles.

Left side riding permits you to see any vehicle danger headed your way and permit some last second evasive action to divert a disaster. Cars and trucks never will come out second best in a vehicle/bicycle accident. It is time to start making some noise about this with the Politicos.


  1. There are two problems with this:

    1. If you are hit by a car/truck/bike, the closing speed will be 2-3x as high, leading to more serious injuries. You are also much more at risk hitting cyclists going the legal way - or you force them out onto the road at greater risk.

    2. At every intersection or driveway, emerging drivers will not be looking for you, they will be watching the regular traffic. So you will be much more likely to hit or be hit by them.

    Good for the UK, tho....


  2. If you do feel cars are passing you too closely, then move out into the middle of the lane so they are forced to consciously make a choice to change lanes to pass you. Wear bright colours or a road safety vest to be clearly seen. I do.



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