Yesterday, 9 May, three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome was knocked off his bike during a training ride, by an impatient driver.
The Team Sky rider tweeted, “Just got rammed on purpose by an impatient driver who followed me onto the pavement!”
He was training near his home in the south of France when the incident occurred. Froome tweeted a picture of his bike, which had been ‘totaled’ and reassured his followers that he was okay.
Team Sky reported that the Monaco-based Froome had continued his training session after fetched a spare bike from his home.
Just got rammed on purpose by an impatient driver who followed me onto the pavement! Thankfully I’m okay 🙏 Bike totaled. Driver kept going! pic.twitter.com/o7FT4iXsAo
— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) May 9, 2017
Froomes’s accident occured less than three weeks since 37-year-old Michele Scarponi, a former Giro d’Italia winner, was killed when he was hit by a van while training in Italy.
Te death of Scarponi, a husband and father of two, was described by his team, Astana, as a “tragedy too big to be written.”
According to the World Health Organisation, “Almost half of all deaths on the world’s roads are among those with the least protection – motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.”
Here in South Africa it’s no different. So what can we as motorists do to help protect other more vulnerable road users?
According to the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA), “cyclists often compete for limited road space with other road users, which can sometimes lead to aggressive behaviour resulting in confrontations.”
Here are some tips from the AA for motorists to help ensure their and cyclists’ safety:
- Yield to cyclists, especially at intersections and circles
- Check your blind spots and ensure the way is clear before changing lanes or turning
- Don’t drive, stop or park in bicycle lanes (where they are available)
- Be patient and only overtake when it is safe to do so
- Give cyclists more than enough room when overtaking
Cyclists also have a responsibility to ensure their own safety and should:
- Ensure that their bicycles are safe and roadworthy, especially if they haven’t been used for a while
- Always obey traffic laws
- Keep left and keep at least one metre clear of pavements and parked cars
- Ride with the traffic, not against it
- Make sure their and their bicycles are as visible as possible when on the road (wear reflective clothing)
- Always wear a protective helmet with the chin straps properly fastened
- Ride in single file and use clear hand signals when turning or changing lanes
- Use lights when riding in low light or at night
Most importantly, be courteous to other road users and avoid confrontation.
Images: Corvos and Chris Froome