Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Night commuting: extremely dangerous?

The recent spate of drunk driver versus vulnerable motorists sagas have led me to think that night commuting is a risky affair, especially past midnight.

The recent zaobao news (here),

一辆汽车前晚9时25分沿着金文泰路往武吉知马路上段行驶时 [...] 撞上两辆脚踏车,两名骑士被撞飞,头部受伤,而疑是醉酒驾车的60多岁男司机先是逃离车祸现场,在半小时后才回返现场向警方自首。 [See full article].

Basically what it says is that at 9:25pm, this yellow-car driver hit two cyclists, injuring a 35 and 22 year old cyclist. The 35 year old is in the ICU, but has not regained consciousness. The 22 year old is in hospital, but not in such a bad state. He is suspected of drink-driving.

Did you also remember how Ionsecu hit and run? That one is the most gangster thing I have ever seen. Hit, run, escape, political drama (Romania waives his immunity, Singapore kao pei kao bu for him to come back, suddenly so many witnesses come up, Ion says "this is a setup!", newspapers keep piling the evidence against him, and he still is probably enjoying himself back in Europe), and et cetera.

As cyclists, this is one of the biggest problems for us: taking the damage for other people's faults. And we can do little to it, we can put bright flashing lights all over, but if the guy isn't driving well, is disturbed/distracted/a dickhead, things just aren't gonna go well for us.

It's one of the risks we have to take. Life has risks after all, and more often than not, accidents do not really happen. Knowing the latter fact is not a cause for complacency, however. Of course, the reason why these accidents are often so impactful when they hit the newspaper is because of its magnitude. Two guys in ICU, deaths, etc.

No - riding at night is not as dangerous as people imagine. It's just more risky. Not more dangerous. You can get knocked down in the day and suffer the same injury, but at night, it's more probable.

Ride safe!

1 comment:

  1. Usually, the word "night" implies darkness and poorer visibility. However, in this case, the cause is neither any of these. Thus, here, the word "night" implies there are more cars driven by drunk drivers on the roads.

    Another risk factor is the speed. Clementi road is one that has long stretch of relatively steep slope. It may be thrilling to chiong or ride down the slope but any fall can be fatal. I don't know if this is relevant in this case. Anyway, my understanding of speed limit is a speed that the driver/rider can safely and fully control/stop the vehicle in emergencies. Thus, I do feel road bicycle seems to be designed to travel above my definition of speed limit.