Cyclists in the San Francisco Bay Area are mourning the loss of two world class athletes who died Sunday when a Sheriff’s deputy apparently fell asleep at the wheel and ran head on into a group ride. A few hours later, two other cyclists were seriously injured on Skyline Boulevard in San Mateo County when a motorist turned left across their path onto Morse Lane. The driver claimed, “I didn’t see them.”
Cyclists frequently encounter near hits because motorists simply don’t look out for us. Motorists pay attention to the threats on the road, which is mostly other motorized vehicles. The cyclist on the edge of the road often doesn’t register.
Professional cyclist David Zabriskie started the Yield To Life campaign to get the word out to motorists that they need to pay attention to cyclists on the road. Transport for London has started a new awareness campaign for motorists, asking them to look out for cyclists. They note that only a tiny fraction going into your brain enters into your consciousness. If you are concentrating on something, you can become blind to other events that you would normally notice. This “inattention blindness” is possibly the reason why motorists collide with cyclists.
How situationally aware are you? Take the test to see how aware you are. Don’t spoil it for others in the comments by giving away the ending, but let us know how you did.