Officials urge Motorists and Bicyclists to use caution
The number of bike versus vehicle fatalities are up this year. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, there have been 6 fatal vehicle versus bike accidents from January to May this year. That’s compared to 2 during the same time last year.
Minnesota is one of the top biking communities in the nation.
There are plenty of scenic trails in the northwest to get your wheels spinning. But whether you bike for pleasure, or commute to work, you have to share the road with motorists and that can sometimes be complicated.
“I get anxious,” said motorist Katie Kaminski Schmidt. “I don’t know what the biker is supposed to be doing when they turn left. Are they part of the car rules?”
What are the road rules?
Crystal police officer Sean Kwiatkowski often teaches young people bike safety. “When you see a bike out on the roadway, that’s in the roadway, you should be treating them just like a regular car.”
In June, there was a serious accident near Hampshire and 36th avenues, in crystal.
“We had a bicyclist that was hit in an intersection and again, it was dark out, the bicyclist and the car, obviously didn’t see each other,” explained Kwiatkowski.
Many bike versus car crashes happen at intersections.
“I’ve been tagged a couple of times biking up to work,” said Travis Dorweiler. The avid cyclist also had a close call with a truck.
“I went over into the ditch, fell over and I don’t know if I lost consciousness for a little bit,” he said.
Dorweiler is also a manager at Maple Grove Cycling. Besides keeping your bike tuned up, he says you need the proper safety gear to make sure you are visible on your bike.
In fact, the law requires you to have a white front light, but most people don’t turn it on in the daytime. Experts say you have to constantly be on your toes, waiting for the unexpected…to happen.