Bike crashes add to yearly total

August 13, 2019

Two minor bike crashes along Route 1 have brought the year’s total in Lewes and Rehoboth to nearly 50.

On Aug. 12, a 21-year-old woman riding a bicycle about 5:45 p.m. near Miller Road was carrying an item when she collided with a Delaware River and Bay Authority shuttle, said Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe of the Delaware State Police. The woman had minor injuries and was issued a ticket for carrying parcels which hinder steering. The driver, a 67-year-old Millsboro man, was uninjured, Jaffe said.

On Aug. 13, a 16-year-old girl from Olney, Md., was cycling at 10:30 a.m. near the intersection of Route 1 and Holland Glade Road when she collided with a Chevrolet Silverado, Jaffe said. The girl was taken to Beebe Healthcare with minor injuries and later issued a ticket for riding a bicycle on sidewalk or crosswalk where prohibited.

Using statistics provided for crashes along Route 1 from Five Points to the Forgotten Mile, there have been 47 total crashes this year involving bicycles and motor vehicles.

The Delaware State Police remind bicyclists of some safety tips while riding along the roadways and ways motorist can help to make the roads safer.

This includes:

  • Obey the rules of the road. Drivers and bicyclists are expected to observe traffic rules such as stop signs and red lights. Ignoring these traffic rules can lead to injuries that would have otherwise been preventable.
  • Never ride against the flow of traffic.  Drivers and pedestrians alike may not be expecting bicyclists riding in that direction.
  • Avoid distracted riding much like you would if you were driving a car, and wait to check your cell phone until you’re safely off the road.
  • Visibility can be an issue for bicyclists in the dark; add white front lights and red back lights to your bike, plus reflective tape or clothing can also help make you more visible in the dark.

On Route 1 in the Lewes/Rehoboth Beach area, bikes are allowed on the sidewalks and must yield to pedestrians. However, in certain town limits local ordinances prohibit bikes on the sidewalks.

It is against Delaware law to operate a bicycle at night without a front headlight, Jaffe said. Visibility isn’t just an issue late at night, she said, cloudy days and early mornings can impair motorists’ ability to see bicyclists on the road, too.

More information on bicycle safety can be found on the Delaware Office of Highway Safety website, and laws can be found on the State of Delaware website under Online Delaware Code.