What would you do if you came across a bike crash?

Midtown Manhattan crash involving bicyclist, hit by the driver of a van.

Photo by velobry on Flickr.

As I walked home from work last night, I saw a crowd gathered at the corner of 17th and L Streets, NW. On closer inspection, a woman was lying in the road. A bicyclist had been hit. Have you thought about what you would do in such a situation?

A few people were hunched over, talking to her, trying to keep her still and calm. The rest of the crowd watched, concerned but unsure of what to do. Since I’d learned about the bystander effect, which renders people immobile rather than helpful in a crowd, I’d mentally rehearsed how to deal with a crash.

Read the rest of the post on Greater Greater Washington.


About David Edmondson
A native Marinite working in Washington, DC, I am fascinated by how one might apply smart-growth and urbanist thinking to the low-density towns of my home.

2 Responses to What would you do if you came across a bike crash?

  1. dw shelf says:

    ^drivers may be upset (but do it anyway)

    Please don’t suggest that the solution to bike/car interaction is for bikers to become obnoxious. That’s about as useful as proposing that car drivers become obnoxious.

    The best we can do in conflicts is try to safely traverse the situation, with respect to the goals of the other.

    In the contemporary era, we’ve seen bikes become more respected. However, this direction is not controlled by any diety, and bikes remain economically dependent upon car traffic.

    • No, the solution isn’t obnoxiousness, but it is important for bikers to be mindful of their own safety. Taking the lane is absolutely the right of the biker and is the safest way to travel with traffic when there’s not a bike lane. Drivers need to realize and respect the rights of a bicyclist, just like a bicyclist needs to realize and respect the rights of a driver.

      To modulate the statement: a biker should pull over if they’re using the only lane and they have 3+ cars behind. It’s only fair to the drivers, and it’s what drivers are supposed to do when they’re poking along too slowly in similar situations. Both should share the road, not dominate it.

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