Fernando Alonso has experienced it in his own flesh and even in his bones and teeth. The Spanish Formula 1 driver, passionate about cycling and a great fan of cycling, suffered an accident while training with his bicycle near his home in Lugano Switzerland. Although the first information that was known pointed out that he was run over by a car that entered a roundabout improperly without respecting the Asturian’s priority of passage, the real cause of the accident was the confusion of a driver who did not see the double F1 world champion when trying to access a supermarket parking lot.
According to the report of the Cantonal Police, shortly before 2:00 p.m. in Viganello, a 42-year-old Swiss driver living in the Lugano area was driving on Via La Santa in the direction of Pregassona when she made a turn to the left. left to enter the parking lot of a supermarket. At that moment he collided with a 39-year-old Spanish citizen, who was riding his bicycle and was passing the row of vehicles stopped in the direction lane on the right contrary. Although his injuries are not serious the Asturian driver hit his face with the right side of the car and was hospitalized with a broken jaw. It has already been operated and is looking forward to the season.
Although everything was due to an unfortunate mistake the accident of the double F1 world champion highlights the enormous fragility of cyclists one of the most vulnerable groups on the road, and who on many occasions are victims of the lack of respect and intolerance of some drivers. We take this opportunity to recall some basic rules of the road that are essential to pacify traffic on urban and conventional roads in addition to avoiding accidents like the one suffered by Alonso.
Many drivers in Spain Switzerland and other countries in the world are unaware or deliberately violate a basic rule of the road that cyclists have right of way over motor vehicles at any type of intersection or roundabout. According to a report presented by the Ponle Freno Studies Center in 2016, 40% of the drivers surveyed in Spain did not know who has a preference in a roundabout in case of coinciding with a bicycle. Added to the problem of drivers who use the roundabout and roundabout lanes incorrectly is the little respect that some drivers show for cyclists, whom they consider little less than a hindrance and do not hesitate to endanger their physical integrity when they cross. with them on the road.
Either with aggressive overtaking without respecting the lateral safety distance or denying them the right of way at an intersection or a pedestrian crossing they must indeed get off the bicycle if there is no bike lane or a parallel crossing for cyclists many cyclists suffer the wrath of violent and unconvincing drivers who hide behind their motor vehicles, which are faster, safer and stronger than fragile bicycles.
The DGT and the Civil Guard have been asking drivers for patience and tolerance for years to avoid traffic accidents with cyclists involved, one of the most vulnerable groups on the road. They also constantly remember how to correctly overtake a cyclist or a group of them, and they teach us with rules that many drivers do not know, such as, for example, that cyclists can circulate in parallel two by two in sections with visibility, always that they do not form traffic agglomerations. They also remember that cyclists over the age of 14 can ride on the shoulders of the highways unless there is an express prohibition sign.
Cyclists have priority at roundaboutsAnother rule that many drivers are unaware of, and which is also included in the General Traffic Regulations, is that cyclists have priority of passage over motor vehicles when, when traveling in a group, the first has already started the crossing or has entered in a gazebo.
Even if the motor vehicle is already inside the roundabout, bicycles have precedence, so the driver must stop until the last rider in the peloton passes. The DGT and the Civil Guard constantly remember him through Twitter but this rule continues to generate controversy among many drivers. Did you know that when a group of cyclists circulates in a peloton, they have a preference in a roundabout as long as the first one has started the crossing? The vehicles inside must wait for the last cyclist in the group to pass, recalled the Twitter account of the Civil Guard a few days ago, on January 13.
In a roundabout, the group of cyclists is a unit. When the first one enters, you have to let everyone else pass, the DGT explains continuously. Ultimately, it is as if the group of cyclists formed a single imaginary vehicle whose front was the first cyclist and the rear was the last, adds the autonomous body. Although the first reports indicate that Alonso was alone at the time of the accident it is very common for the Spanish pilot to train accompanied by friends or members of his team.