Ghost Bikes and Saving Lives

ghost bikeIf you drive the roads of Southern California, you may have seen them: Eye-catching, pale white bicycles parked on the side of the road. These ethereal-looking bikes are “Ghost Bikes,” serving both as poignant reminder of a life lost and reminder to drivers to stay aware of two-wheeled compatriots on the streets. Courtesy of the Orange County-based public awareness non-profit Ghost Bike Foundation, these particular memorials are set at sites of fatal accidents involving vehicle and bicyclist.

The Los Angeles-area group is self-described as but a chapter of an international phenomenon that remembers fallen cyclists. Incidents involving bicyclists threaten to grow to epidemic proportions on the vehicle-packed roadways of Southern California – and across the country.

According to the numbers, some 89 bicyclist fatalities (including 18 in Los Angeles alone) were reported in the seven-county area in 2013. For the previous year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 726 bicyclists killed in road incidents in the United States, thereby implying that California’s seven-county area accounted for over 12% of the country’s fatalities.

The NHTSA also calculated that 76,000 pedestrian injuries were reported in 2012, translating as nearly one injury every 7 minutes; as bicyclists figure for just over 15% of fatalities in pedestrian/vehicle accidents, it might be surmised that approximately 11,500 of the 76,000-plus reported injuries are suffered by bicyclists.
On top of these already worrisome numbers, the Federal Highway Administration-funded Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center adds that “we know from research into hospital records that only a fraction of pedestrian crashes that cause injury are ever recorded by the police” and “Pedestrians are over-represented in the crash data, accounting for 14% of all traffic fatalities but only 10.9% of trips.”

So what can be done to help improve road safety for bicyclists and pedestrians? Add safety products to your vehicle: Operation Safe Road is an initiative with the mission to Improve Road Safety One Vehicle At A Time – and Mobileye is a great product committed to saving lives and reducing injuries. Mobileye is the only Aftermarket Collision Avoidance Product that is compliant with the standards set by the NHTSA. 90% of Leading Car Manufacturers Can’t Be Wrong.

Recognized as world leader in collision avoidance technology, Mobileye has been selected by a wide range of global automotive manufacturers for their production vehicles, including Ford, GM, Chrysler, BMW, Volvo, Hyundai, Honda and more.

As part of the Operation Safe Road initiative, Premier Services is pairing up with Mobileye to help drivers avoid everyday tragedies of pedestrian fatalities. The outfitting of any passenger or commercial vehicle with the Mobileye 560 smart camera system – just a simple device for the front windshield – increases awareness not only of nearby pedestrians and cyclists, but can also detect traffic signs, distances between vehicles and lane markings. Additionally, the latest edition of the Mobileye flagship product includes Bluetooth-compatible monitoring of driving activity and real-time road alert delivery to a mobile device.

Those spectral cycles by the sides of roads worldwide are certainly visually arresting, but we’re sure everyone would rather see streets safe for all uses. The Mobileye 560 and a little greater awareness can make preventable pedestrian accidents disappear – a benefit to all communities.

Detecting the vulnerable on roads: Just another way Operation Safe Road can help you increase road safety one vehicle at a time.