Cyclist's accident a reminder to be more cautious on the roads


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SALT LAKE CITY — A Layton cyclist escaped with his life but is nursing a nasty bruise following a weekend cycling accident.

Mike Petroff is nursing a nasty bruise after being hit by a car while cycling in Salt Lake City.
Mike Petroff is nursing a nasty bruise after being hit by a car while cycling in Salt Lake City.

Mike Petroff's story is a scary reminder that you can be doing everything right — wearing safety gear and following the rules — and still get hurt; and the driver who hurts you may have no idea.

Petroff has been training for the Logan-to-Jackson race, best known as Lotoja, coming up in September. On Saturday, he was riding with members of his team along 11th Avenue in Salt Lake City when the accident happened..

"There were some runners coming towards me, so I moved out of the way kind of to the left; and a truck came up from me, and the mirror of the truck kind of clipped me on the shoulder," he said.

The truck was also pulling a trailer. Runner Jennifer Nikols watched in horror as Petroff hung onto the vehicle in an attempt not to get hit again.

"In the moment I thought maybe he won't actually make contact with the trailer," Nikols said.

But he did, and Petroff has a solid black and blue upper thigh to show for it. The driver didn't immediately realize he'd hit someone but did stop eventually.

Road Respect
Ride with Respect:
  • Ride no more than two abreast; single file if a car is coming
  • Obey all traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
  • Ride predictably in a straight line.
  • CLICK HERE for more tips
Drive with Respect:
  • Give at least 3 feet of space when passing a bicyclist
  • Watch for bicycles in traffic
  • Don't underestimate the speed of a bicyclist — which can be 25-30 mph
  • CLICK HERE for more tips

"I was lucky not to break anything," Petroff said.

Not everyone is so lucky. Last year in Utah, there were seven bicycle accident fatalities.

Nationally, statistics show men are more likely to be injured or killed while riding. The average age of those victims is 41, and nearly three-quarters of accidents happen during the day.

Salt Lake Police are still looking for the driver who hit and killed cyclist Brynn Barton near Liberty Park last month.

Petroff was back on the bike Wednesday, and both he and Nikols have a plea for drivers sharing the road.

"I think, especially on a road where you've already seen cyclists and runners, keep an eye out," Nikols said.

"That's still someone's son, someone's husband, someone's brother," Petroff said. "These are not just ‘somebody in a fancy white tight suit;' these are real people."

Of course, both say it's equally important for cyclist and runners to respect drivers and keep an eye out for them as well. In Utah, the law is 3 feet between a cyclist and a vehicle.

Email: sdallof@ksl.com

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Sarah Dallof

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