Bicycle Accidents in Portland Oregon

Posted By Jane Paulson || 24-Oct-2008

Tuesday morning (10/21/08) at about 6:50 am I witnessed a cyclist taken down by a car that didn’t see her. The cyclist was doing everything right — helmet, lights, etc — but still was nearly hit. The cyclist was coming down NE Knott and a car coming from a side street to the cyclist’s right did not see the cyclist and pulled out in front of her. It was a foggy morning and many drivers look for car lights and forget to look for cyclist lights. I was coming the other direction, saw the cyclist and thought the car was going to pull out in front of the cyclist (and did). The cyclist did nothing wrong and still almost got hit.

I have been watching runners, cyclists and walkers more since the accident. Many are doing the right thing and wearing protective clothing, lights, helmet (cyclists), etc. But a lot have nothing on — which my brother says “they must have nothing to protect” (especially referring to cyclists not wearing helmets).

The key for me is not just the front headlight on a bike but something to get the driver’s attention. Many cyclists, runners, and walkers are wearing something to be seen IF someone is looking. For my own safety, I like to wear things to get the driver’s attention — front, back and side visibility. Probably because of all the injuries we see at work (bicycle accidents, car accidents, etc) I am a believer in the “Christmas Tree” mentality. I often use so many pieces of reflective gear my sister says “I look like a Christmas Tree.” I do it because drivers often only look for car headlights and not cyclists, runners or walkers. When I run or walk when it is dark I wear a reflective singlet by amphipod and small blinking clip on lights by Firefly which can be seen by motorists a mile away.

Heading into the darker months think about how visible you are and consider adding more visibility to your current system.

Categories: Bicycle Accidents, General