In the week following New Year's Day, I was almost run over several times while out cycling. Upon mentioning this to my wife, she remarked, 'Hopefully everyone didn't make a New Year's resolution to be a bad driver this year.' When you're a cyclist (or a pedestrian), you notice just how intent some motorists are […]

In the week following New Year's Day, I was almost run over several times while out cycling. Upon mentioning this to my wife, she remarked, 'Hopefully everyone didn't make a New Year's resolution to be a bad driver this year.'
When you're a cyclist (or a pedestrian), you notice just how intent some motorists are to shave a few seconds off of their commute time. Admittedly, most motorists around here are courteous and yield at least the Kansas state statute-required three feet when passing a bicycle.
That wasn't the case, however, with a truck and van that buzzed me out on Lake Road last week within less than a minute of each other. Perhaps they were engaged in some really important telephone conversation and just couldn't take the time to pull over a few feet more. Who knows?
As a result of last week's near misses, I have developed a new strategy for cycling: increase visibility. As if the hunter orange helmet, the multiple flashing lights and headlights (after dark and around dusk and dawn) aren't enough, I have begun to wear a bright orange reflective vest while cycling, particularly at dawn, dusk, and after dark. At these times, I realize, cyclists are virtually invisible to inattentive drivers.
Hopefully, my increased visibility will serve as a reminder to motorists that there are cyclists out on the road this time of year. Subsequently, here are three 'don'ts for drivers:'
1) Don't squeeze around us and then cut in front of us to make a right turn a few feet away.
2 Don't shave off three-quarters of the intersection as you make that left turn (and then suddenly realize that there's a cyclist there).
3) Don't think that this is your road only, as it also belongs to cyclists (who pay taxes, just like you).
I hope that I have impressed upon the minds of inattentive drivers that real lives are at stake here. So, please, do us all a favor and make a belated New Year's resolution to be a better driver in 2018.