With beautiful weather and an eco-friendly community, Hawaii is no stranger to cyclists. The closer you get to the metropolitan Honolulu area, the greater number of cyclists you’re likely to spot out on the road. It’s important to be extra cautious of those two-wheeled, cycling machines as we take to the streets of Oahu. We’ve listed three things to keep in mind as you drive today and every day.
STAY IN YOUR LANE. Bike lanes have been created for a reason. Not only do bike lanes designate the proper riding area for cyclists, but they also tell drivers where they should not be. On top of keeping out of the bike lane, we must be conscious that we do not park in it either. Each time a driver obstructs the bike lane, cyclists must detour onto the sidewalk or into traffic, both of which endanger other people.
LOOK OUT, DON’T LISTEN UP. Engine-less and relatively inexpensive maintenance is one of the many benefits of bicycling. This means that bicyclists make very little to no noise at all, making it hard for drivers to know when they’re near. It’s always safe to double check before merging, especially in areas closer to Waikiki. Similarly, you should not assume that bicyclists can always hear you coming. Cyclists are hearing just about everything else out on the street including construction, pedestrians and other vehicles.
KEEP YOUR DOOR CLOSED. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2 percent of all traffic deaths in 2014 involved bicyclists. In fact, 726 cyclists were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2014. Bicycle accidents are most likely to happen in urban areas between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Although clothes-lining bicyclists is something that is often portrayed as comedic in the movies, in reality it is one of the biggest dangers for bicyclists on the road and has sadly led to many avoidable fatalities in past years. It’s no wonder many bicyclists say that they are more comfortable avoiding parked cars altogether. Being “doored” is the term used when a parked car unknowingly swings open a door, clothes-lining bicycles to their doom. It’s best to keep your doors closed (unless exiting or entering the vehicle, of course), and our eyes open.
Not one vehicle of transportation is more important than the other, nor is one life more important than another. Our all-encompassing responsibility as drivers is to share the road and keep each other safe. Here at KW Auto Body, that’s our number one goal, as well – to keep our customers safe. We’re about honesty, quality and customer service, no matter who you are or what you drive. We wish all motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians safe travel, but should you find yourself in a collision, don’t hesitate to give us a call to get your car back in shape and back on the road in no time.