Last week, a friend of mine was struck by an automobile while riding his bike to work. Fortunately, he was not badly injured when the car slide into him after losing control on a slick spot. But his case highlights an important issue that all motor vehicle drivers must keep in mind. Bike commuters and recreation bike riders are not just outside in the warm weather months.
As bike commuting continues to grow in popularity, it has become a year round transportation option, except in the most extreme weather conditions. Last week, was typical January weather for mid-Michigan where a light snowfall often occurs nearly every day. That is not about to stop a hardy bike commuter like my friend. While, I myself may pause or rarely ride to work between December and early March, many avid bike commuters keep right on pedaling come rain, sleet, snow, ice, or dark of night.
So, if you reside in the cold-weather latitudes, please keep your eyes open for bike commuters and recreational bike riders throughout the year. Due to accumulated piles of snow, shorter hours of daylight, and often windy conditions, a bicyclist can be much harder to see than during pristine weather, even with their blinking lights and bright and colorful gear.
The same winter precautions should be kept in mind for walkers, joggers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers. Each of these are pleasant and healthy recreational activity during the winter months. Let’s all work toward making them even more enjoyable by taking extra precautions when we see someone relishing the great outdoors.