One the problems facing the Topeka community is its transition towards becoming more bike-friendly.
These are basic biker procedures for being on a public roadway that all Topeka citizens should know to avoid accidents with cyclists.
When in doubt, proceed with caution. Whenever a biker is on the road, you should not infringe on any part of their ride.
Caution is key in every situation. Even if the biker has no idea what he or she is doing, it will be your fault no matter what the situation is.
A biker is not responsible for your actions as a driver. It is ultimately your responsibility to keep accidents with bikers down in the Topeka community if you are a driver of an vehicle.
Turn signals are imperative to bikers as they signal drivers near them their intentions on the road.
Unfortunately, Topeka resident Dave Hook suffered serious complications after his cycling accident on Sept. 15, 2015. Hook was riding his bike to get it fixed at Capps Bike Shop on Topeka Boulevard. When Hook was approaching 29th Street, a car swerved into the lane Hook was in.
Hook was knocked off his bike and was rendered unconscious.
“I had two broken legs, broken arm, broken ribs, I did not tell anybody until about six months after,” Hook said. “I think he was distracted, he has given about a half a dozen different stories on why he was unable to see me,” Hook stated.
On the extent of his injuries, Hook said he has been affected long term.
“I am not sure whether it is getting better or if it is me just tolerating it, but when I walk I have a plate in my right leg and I can feel it, but it does not hurt as much as it used to,” Hook said.
Hook discussed his settlement towards the accident and said that he was in contact with his attorney during an extensive process to sue the driver that cost him his love for biking. He now walks at Lee Arena to stay in shape and said he will never get on a bike again.
“I am going to be 77 in a couple months and I learned my lesson,” Hook said, “I should have quit sooner than I did, I thought it would never happen to me.”
It is very saddening to see a Topeka resident suffer such a traumatic experience that affects him so much that he no longer does what he enjoys. He did, however, credit a common safety feature that he claims saved his life.
“If I had not had my helmet I probably would not be here today,” Hook said.
These cases are becoming more and more common around the Topeka area. Unaware drivers are having accidents with cyclists more and more often, and the bikers are the ones paying for severe injuries or even their lives. To inform Kansas residents about the concerns of cyclists on the road, KDOT provides information about this online. Reading this information and using any precautionary measures will help make Topeka roads safer for cyclists.