The Two Way Street
I've made bad decisions whilst riding a bike and driving a car. The battle is not between them and us, at least it shouldn't be. We should all be doing our best to become safer road users.
Each year, new technology hits the car market. We have never been safer inside our catapulting cocoons than we are now. Bike riders are, however, just as vulnerable as ever. Whilst millions of dollars is being spent on creating safer vehicles it seems irresponsible for us not to do our part in making our roads safer. The more responsible we all are behind the wheel or the handlebars, the safer our roads will be.
In an accident, our cars are designed to protect us. Ultimately however, we desire that they never have to. Safety is not best achieved through the flick of a switch or the release of an air bag. Safety is best achieved when we take responsibility each time we hit the road, as a motor vehicle user or a cyclist.
I have cut corners on fast descents. I've punched it through orange lights that had more red in them than green and I've made rash turning decisions and indicated late, real late. I've done these things whilst in control of a car and a bike. We make bad choices. We make them regardless of what vehicle we are in control of. The question is not: who is more evil? The question is: what can we all do to make our roads safer? What decisions have we made in the past that we would be wise not to make again in the future?
Yes, as cyclists we need to make smart decisions, we are not off the hook. But, car users also need to do their part. When push comes to shove, it's the 2 tons of propelled steel that is going to cause the greatest amount of damage if something goes wrong. You may be a little frustrated that a group of cyclists have slowed you down, but don't let that frustration create more of a danger than the ball of steel your driving already is.
Lets not kid ourselves - we all have the ability to be part of the problem. We also, all have the opportunity to be part of the solution. Make a choice to admit you sometimes make bad choices and then choose to make a conscious effort to make better ones in the future.