This video of a cyclist careening down a grassy hillside into oncoming traffic has gone viral thanks to its head-smacking “Well what did you think was going to happen when you cycled into a busy street?” nature. The clip, which is embedded below, was taken in Montevideo, Uruguay and shows a cyclist who was wearing a helmet but nonetheless decided to take his mountain bike down a steep slope and across a few lanes of traffic. (No gore, but viewer discretion is advised.)
Although the cyclist got struck by an oncoming car, he escaped without serious injuries. Nonetheless, this is an extremely reckless and dangerous activity when vehicles are around. Even if the area isn’t heavily trafficked, the cyclist wasn’t being aware of his surroundings and looking out for oncoming cars.
If you’re going to ride your bike and want to tackle some hills, here are some safety tips to consider before hopping on your two wheeler:
- Wear a helmet, even if you’re staying on grass. No matter the type of terrain, if you take a tumble and happen to land on your head or neck, a helmet will help protect you from a potentially serious injury.
- Check your bike to make sure it’s in good shape. If you’re shooting down a hill and realize your brakes aren’t functioning properly, you’re in trouble. Always make sure your bike is in good working order before hopping on it to go for a ride.
- If you can, practice hills in an area where there are no cars. If this cyclist found a hill within a park that was far away from cars, he wouldn’t have to worry about looking out for them.
- Don’t cross the street illegally. Stick to intersections and crosswalks and obey traffic laws. It’s illegal to cut across multiple lanes of traffic on a bicycle. As a cyclist, you can’t expect to always have the right of way or to have cars always looking out for you. Some responsibility rests with you to know and obey traffic laws.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t just look out for cars, but keep an eye out for pedestrians, potholes, and foreign objects in the street that can obstruct your path. It’s incredibly important to stay alert when you’re on a bicycle so that you can react appropriately to any situation that could occur. The driver or pedestrian might not notice you, but if you’re aware of them you can do your part to try avoiding an accident or altercation.
- Practice common sense. A little bit of common sense would dictate that careening down a hill into oncoming traffic probably isn’t the smartest idea. Use your head and stick to what makes sense.
- Don’t let your friends pressure you. If your buddies are egging you on to do something foolish or to perform a potentially dangerous stunt, put your safety and comfort above a quick laugh. You can have fun with your friends without sacrificing your well-being.
It’s not entirely clear what this cyclist’s motives were in the video, but he should consider himself very lucky to emerge from such an easily avoidable accident relatively unscathed. Hopefully he learned from this stunt and will think twice before endangering himself and others again.