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The Green Life: Safer Cycling for a Cooler, Cleaner World

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July 17, 2009

Safer Cycling for a Cooler, Cleaner World

Yield to lifeRiding a bike to work is a great deal: you save money on gas, start your day with a workout, and help the planet by curbing emissions. So why don’t more of us partake?  It might have something to do with the 44,000 injuries bicyclists incurred in traffic accidents in 2007. Or maybe it’s the fear inspired by the horn-honking hostility some drivers have toward cyclists. Either way, in any metal-bending battle between a bike and car, the car will always win. 

Which is why David Zabriskie created an organization to help keep cyclists safe on the road. The record-holder for the fastest time trial at the Tour de France, Zabriskie has been hit three times by cars while riding his bike.  The worst collision left him in a wheelchair. While he was able to recover and is participating in this year’s Tour de France, he realizes that not all cyclists are as lucky. So he started Yield to Life.

Yield to Life promotes positive attitudes toward cyclists, works to incorporate more bicycle road rules into driver-education programs, and runs Zabriskie-led presentations about bike safety at student assemblies.

Not all the responsibility for keeping cyclists safe is on motorists. Safety rules for cyclists can also help reduce the number of unfair match-ups between bikes and cars. But drivers, even if they can’t part in a cleaner commute, can at least help encourage others to by following simple safety tips to make the road a less intimidating place.

--Sarah F. Kessler

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