PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Days away from the beginning of the 2022 summer season, the region — this month alone — has already recorded two cycling deaths.
On Thursday, a California man was killed while cycling in Isle of Wight County. The next day, a Vermont woman was killed on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
A man who was hit by a vehicle while cycling is now speaking about the danger on the roads.
“Cycling to me now is like playing Russian roulette. It’s so dangerous,” said Bruce Mimran, who was poised to win a national cycling title before the accident.
“I suffered a traumatic brain injury. I suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage. I suffered a subdural hemorrhage and I had a fractured skull. It was fractured so deeply, it went to my ear canal,” said Mimran in a February interview.
After sharing his story with 10 On Your Sid, near the scene of the crash, over a period of weeks he would suffer a different type of hit.
“I’ve called politician after politician, city officials, and nobody responds,” said Mimran, who now avoids cycling on roads due to dizziness caused by the brain injuries he suffered last fall.
As the summer season approaches, he is calling for tougher enforcement of existing laws and tougher punishment for violators.
Regina Mobley: “What advice can you give to the cyclist and advice to the motorist?“
Bruce Mimran: “For the cyclist, it’s wearing a helmet. A good quality helmet, number one. Number two, be alert and attentive everywhere you go. Do not go on busy roads. Try to stay off busy roads and try to be attentive.”
Now for the motorist, try to maintain the laws. The Virginia law is you must maintain a 3-foot distance from the cyclist
And he’s calling for culture and road construction changes.
“There’s not enough awareness of how dangerous it is to put the cyclist on the same road as a car,” said Mimran.
According to the National Safety Council, across the nation in 2020, there were more than 1,200 preventable bicycle deaths. This represents a 16% increase over the previous year and a 44% increase over the past 10 years.
The agency says bicycle-related deaths peak in May, and they remain high through the month of October.