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Bicyclist from McKinney Dies after Saturday Crash in Frisco

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Today I saw this headline in the local McKinney paper and it compelled me to say something hopefully to help save a life. The bicyclist killed was hit from behind in the early morning hours on Saturday on Independence Parkway in Frisco. In Collin County we have many large multilane roads like Independence Parkway. In addition, it is common to see cyclist taking to the roadways in search of exercise, especially on weekend mornings before the Texas sun makes it too hot to enjoy the outdoors.

While I do not know anything specific about how this collision occurred, this collision reminds us all that bicyclist and motorcyclist are in danger on our roadways every day. There are things that cyclist and motorist can and must do to make our roads safer for everyone to use.

First, for cars, trucks and other motor vehicles, know that you are sharing the roads with bicyclist and motorcycles. We all know that there are times of the day and times of the week in which we can expect to see bicyclist. Drive on a pretty weekend day and you will be sharing the road with bicyclists. Expect it. We all know that we will be sharing the road every day, whenever the weather is good, with motorcyclist as well. Expect cyclist to share the road with you. Having recently returned from Scotland and Ireland, it amazed me how small the roads were and how many cyclists were in very rural settings. In North Texas, all of our roads are huge compared to those I drove on in Scotland and Ireland. Large arterial roads like Independence Parkway have multiple lanes going each direction with plenty of room to avoid cyclist. If motorist can avoid cyclist on the narrow roads of Europe, we should able to avoid cyclist on these multilane roads of Collin County. Be aware of your surrounding and the potential dangers and share the road. In addition, stow the cell phones and turn off all distractions. Driving a car is one of the most dangerous things we all do on a daily basis. Give it your full attention and prevent needless injuries and death.

For cyclist, be aware of the dangers you face on the road. Be seen. Have appropriate clothing, reflective devices and lights to make it easier for a driver to see you. Stay in the far-right lane of multilane roads and, when possible, ride in groups to enhance each other’s visibility. Wear a good quality biking helmet. I have seen this area grow enormously since my days as a boy in McKinney. I remember well a very dear friend who crashed his bike in 1985, suffered a closed head injury and eventually died. I think about him all the time and wonder if a helmet could have saved his life. Helmets can sometimes save lives so do not take an unnecessary chance. Last of all, be aware of your surroundings and bike defensively. Stop at stop signs, signal your intentions and remember that even the most careful motorist out there cannot read your mind. Regardless of who causes a collision, it is an absolute certainty that the cyclist will pay the price with his health in the event of a wreck.

Let’s stay safe out there and keep our roads safe for everyone using the road!