BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Two deadly bicycle accidents in two weeks. Family members said57-year-old Kharka Rai died after he was struck by a car in Amherst Sunday night. That crash happened two weeks after a 17-year-old was hit while riding her bike, she died last week.
“Be careful, open your eye. It’s a life, it’s not a game man. You only live once.” Rai’s son-in-law Dev Ghimirey said.
The Department of Transportation said more than 800 bicyclists were killed in 2019, up more than 36% since 2010.
“When you’re riding in the street it is a different animal. So you want to make sure that you are making yourself noticeable to the cars on the street,” Slow Rolls Board of Directors Member Janelle Brooks said.
Especially as the days start getting shorter, making sure you know proper safety precautions as a bicyclist and as a motorist is key.
“Make sure you’re seen, be safe, stay right. And for the cars, follow the speed limit and watch for bicyclists,” Bicyclist Hugh Perkins said.
Bicyclists said some simple steps can keep you safe. Wear bright colors, have a properly, fitting helmet, and put on reflective gear.
“We are not disturbing traffic; we are a part of traffic. Cyclists like to share the road with drivers just as much as anyone else,” Brooks said.
“Make sure that the motor vehicle sees you. Don’t assume they see you, don’t assume you have the right of way,” Owner of Rick’s Cycle Shop Thomas Ezzerella said.
The Department of Transportation said there are two main types of crashes, falling and car related incidents. They said bicyclist deaths occur most often between the hours of 6 PM and 9 PM. Drivers can take precautions such as not speeding when you pass a bike.
“Backwinds create a big gust for bikers and if they’re riding fast, that can kind of knock them off their bike,” Brooks said.
MORE THINGS TO KNOW:
- All Bikes should have a light on the front
- Lights must be on when it's dark
- Bikes must have a bell that can be heard 100 feet away
- Bicyclists over 14 cannot ride on the sidewalk