Zabriskie targets safety first

Website aims to help cyclists stay safe on the roads

by Kevin Emery   July 30, 2009  

Yield to life website

For most cyclists it can seem like they are invisible to motorists on the road, and there is plenty of hostility between the two sides.

Professional cyclist David Zabriskie, winner of numerous international cycling awards, and former yellow jersey wearer in the Tour de France, has suffered from irresponsible motorists in the past – and now he has a website dedicated to promoting positive attitudes toward cyclists and understanding, respect, and appreciation for all life on the road.

But what makes Yield To Life stand out is that the site targets both cyclists and motorists, and while it’s aimed at road users in the US many safety tips are universal for both cyclists and drivers the world over.

Zabriskie decided to set up the website after being hit by a car on three occasions in the US. The worst of his accidents was in 2003 when he spent a week in hospital and was left with pins in his wrist and leg and the very real prospect of not being able to ride again.

David said: “It took a lot of hard work and determination to come back from my injuries. I often wonder what I could have accomplished had I not had such a devastating set back. I also wonder what went through the driver’s mind when she hit me.

“If she had only thought of me as life rather than an obstacle in her way, or if she had just waited a split second for my safe passage, I would not have been reduced to a wheelchair for months.

“Ultimately, I was able to overcome my accident, but there are many riders who are not as fortunate. It sometimes seems as if we are viewed merely as nuisances who don’t deserve consideration on the road.

“It is my mission to humanise and personalise cyclists to help motorists to always be aware that we are "life" and we deserve a safe space on the road. Since cyclists lives are often in motorists hands, motorists must understand the vital role they play in a cyclist's safety.”

The Yield to Life site has safety tips for cyclists and motorists, media campaigns and hands-on educational programs for schools, workshops and a database for cyclists to find the best, safest and most accommodating roads for commuting and leisure. Visit the site at www.yieldtolife.org