Fatal vehicle vs. bicycle collisions shine light on how to safely share the road

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EUREKA, Calif. (KIEM) — The Eureka Police Department has investigated 9 vehicle versus bicycle collisions in the last year with 2 of those being fatal. Redwood News spoke to EPD and California Highway Patrol about how drivers and bicyclists can safely share the road.

“Those are usually more serious injury collisions just for the mere fact that there’s less protection for the pedestrian or bicyclist,” according to CHP Public Information Officer Paul Craft.

Two of these kinds of collisions have been fatal in the last month, and police say they could have been prevented if drivers watched their speed and avoided distractions while behind the wheel.

“We want the people that are driving that if they’re going to allow someone to cross, make sure you’re making eye contact with that person so they can see you’re allowing them to go. There’s communication that way,” Sergeant Ed Wilson from EPD says.

Craft also has a message for the bicyclists out there on how they can best protect themselves.

“Wearing bright colored clothing when riding a bicycle even as a pedestrian having bright clothing and being visible is very important to prevent these collisions from happening,” Craft says.

Just this month, CHP received grant funding from the state to help improve bicycle safety and increase community education on the issue.

“Part of that is also to provide bicycle helmets and reflective gear to different members of the public primarily to minors we have some here I also have adult helmets,” Craft adds.

Both EPD and CHP have one final message for both drivers and bicyclists before they hit the roads.

“I think it’s everyone’s responsibility to look out for each other on the road, whether you’re in a vehicle, on foot, on a bicycle, or a motorcycle,” Wilson says. “Share the road and take equal responsibility for our safety,” Craft adds.