May is Bike Month but this is Distracted Driving Month. Only about 17% of bicycle crashes are related to an automobile and about half of those can be attributed to cyclist error. We can improve that rate by being more alert, attentive, visible, and predictable. Making eye contact, however, may not be enough. If that driver is using a cell phone, even in “hands free” mode, He may not see you even though he’s looking right at you.
Have you ever been cut off by a driver on a cell phone? You may have attributed the danger move to the driver holding the steering wheel with just one hand. This line of thought has led six cities to ban hand-held cell phone use. Those bans are good in so far as they limit cell phone use while driving, but an increasing amount of research shows that much of the risk in talking on a cell phone while driving is cognitive, not just manual. A driver’s hand may be off the wheel, but more importantly, their mind is off the road. Read More. Article has links to research.