Lewisville, NC -- Nobody would like to see drivers and cyclists share the road more than Bruce Hermann.
As part of National Bicycle Month and Bike To Work Week, he wants to raise awareness about the importance of sharing. He knows all too what what can happen otherwise.
Two years ago, a driver hit Hermann him from behind on Country Club Road in Winston-Salem and launched him 66 feet onto the pavement.
"I had all of my ribs broken except for one and seven broken vertebrae, and that left a spinal cord injury that has caused, or left me with partial paraplegia," she Hermann.
He's thankful to still be able to do what he loves. He chooses not to ride a traditional bike, but rather a recumbent tricycle, in the seated position with his feet in front of him.
"That's what I really like about the trikes, is that you don't have to worry about balancing. You don't have to worry about rocks in the road. You can just sit back and enjoy everything that's going on around you," said Hermann.
According to NC Department of Transportation, each year about 1,000 bicyclists are involved in crashes with motor vehicles. On average, about 20 are killed and 60 are seriously injured.
Hermann said sharing the road is a two way street. He said, "It's not a matter of cars sharing the road with bikes. It's also a matter of bikes sharing the road with cars and we both have to learn to play together."
"Part of sharing is actually meaning that you're looking for them, you're aware of them, you're also aware of their needs so when a car comes up behind you you see it's clear, you signal them to go past," he said.
Hermann wants drivers to remember the impact their vehicle can have. "When they get behind the wheel, they're putting in motion over 3,000 pounds of weight and that can very easily turn into a lethal weapon," he said.
Hermann often feels like a guest on the road, he said, and not always a welcome one at that.
"It's kind of a chicken and egg thing," he said. "Until there's more bikes on the road, it won't be as safe because until there's a lot of bikes on the road, cars won't be looking for them."
For more information on Bike To Work Week, click here.
For information on local events, click here and here.
Hermann is also featured in a video produced by NC DOT. To watch the video, click here.