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Another day, another car/bicycle accident

by Greg Belfrage

There was another car/bicycle accident yesterday in Sioux Falls. Yesterday's crash follows a fatal accident last week that killed 22-year old cyclist Natasha Adams.

Thankfully, the 15-year old cyclist in yesterday's accident did not receive life-threatening injuries.

However, there are some major similarities between the two accidents.

In both cases, cyclists were legally riding on the sidewalk. In both cases, motorists were trying to merge into traffic from parking lots when they struck the cyclists.

Call me hasty, but I've drawn a few conclusions.

Some motorists clearly aren't looking hard enough for bicycles and pedestrians on the sidewalks. We need to do a much better job being mindful of our surroundings.

It may be far safer to ride a bike in traffic than on the sidewalk. I may not want my 7-year old riding on city streets, but I'd sure be encouraging my 14-year old to get off the sidewalk.

However, yesterday's crash raises a new question... when should drivers give up the keys?

Police said the 88-year old driver of the Honda Civic "did not readily recognize what had happened". She continued to drive with the bike and cyclist wedged under her car.

My wife and I once owned a small Honda Accord. I could feel bugs hitting the windshield. It's hard to imagine that any driver could fail to feel the impact of crashing into a bicycle. It causes me to wonder whether the motorist was competent to be driving in the first place.

Many of us will come to a point where we can no longer safety operate a motor vehicle. There's no shame in growing old.

Let's hope those who reach that point have the presence of mind to stop driving. We may find it inconvenient, humiliating or embarrassing to surrender the keys to our car.

However, failure to do so could likely result in tragedy. Why risk it?

Greg Belfrage @belfrageshow is heard 6am-9am on KELO 1320 AM and 107.9 FM. Greg can be contacted at greg.belfrage@mwcradio.com

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Teaser photo credit: KELO staff photo