Tips for Safe Cycling on Anchorage Roads
Police are still determining the exact cause of death for a cyclist-on-vehicle collision, but say had the bicyclist been wearing a helmet, it may have saved his life.
A fatal bicycle crash near 17th Avenue has authorities again warning both two-wheeled and four-wheeled drivers about staying safe on the streets.
On Monday afternoon, Anchorage police say two bicyclists were headed downhill toward Karluk Street.
Officers say the pair tried to make a sharp turn onto 17th Avenue and collided with a Cadillac sedan.
Police say neither 50-year-old Michael Downing nor 24-year-old Emmah Albert wore helmets and both were cited for ignoring a stop sign.
Michael Downing hit the front of the car and was thrown into the windshield.
Both cyclists were taken to a local hospital where Albert was released, but Downing died early Tuesday morning.
Police say they are still determining the exact cause of his death but APD says a helmet might have saved Downing's life.
"It's important to wear a helmet-it could have greatly reduced their injuries, they might have not had any injuries at all. Just because you are an adult doesn't mean it's ok to not wear a helmet," said Marlene Lammers, spokesperson for the Anchorage Police Department.
When wearing a helmet, the Anchorage Fire Department says there is a right way to use one.
"When a helmet fits right it should be snug, but not tight," said Capt. Bryan Grella for Fire Station 1. " It shouldn’t move on the head…you can adjust with pads on the inside, making sure the strapping sits right."
AFD also says make sure to wear fitted clothing, because baggy garb can get stuck in spokes.
If there is a bike path available, use it. Otherwise, make sure to follow traffic flow and follow the road rules.
Another extremely important tip: stay visible.
"I've seen cyclists that have started wearing those really bright yellow jackets. You can spot them for mile down a road, so you want to make yourself visible. You obviously don't want to be wearing dark clothing," Lammers said.
The Anchorage Fire Department provides free helmets to young children, and will even do a custom fitting.
The helmet giveaway will continue throughout the summer, but fire officials say right now their supplies are extremely limited because they are waiting for a new shipment.