Preventing Accidents by Sharing the Road with Bicyclist

At times when you are driving, you may feel like you have no control over what the other drivers are doing—this can make you feel extremely vulnerable. Imagine if you were riding a bicycle instead of driving a car. You really are out in the open and rely on the good driving skills of those in their cars and trucks. Next time you are out on the road, remember the bicyclist out there and follow these tips.

  • Keep an eye on the bicycle lane if there is one. When you turn right across a bicycle lane, always keep an eye for bicyclists coming from behind. If one is coming yield to them instead of attempting to make it before them.
  • Unless there is a yellow double line, you can cross over the center line to pass bikers when there is no traffic. The bicyclist will feel much more comfortable with you passing in this way.
  • Do not honk as a form of communication with a bike rider unless it is an emergency. Think about how loud a horn sounds from inside the car. It is even louder and shocking from the road.
  • When you are sharing the road with a bicyclist, do not follow too closely. The cyclist is likely trying to get out of your lane, be patient.
  • Bicyclists are allowed to use crosswalks, and some rely on them to get safely across the street instead of crossing with the cars and other traffic.
  • Be careful in neighborhoods and subdivisions. Many cyclists use these quite areas to ride in, and they rely on you to pay attention to stop signs and other rules of the road.
  • If you park on the street, make sure you look carefully so that you do not open the car door into the path of an oncoming bicycle rider. Many accidents occur in this way.
  • While you want to be careful all the time, if you make a mistake, apologize. Even a friendly wave or eye contact can let a cyclist know that you are sorry and that you do care about preventing accidents.
  • Use extra care around children who are riding a bike. Children are often even less secure in their riding abilities and may stop suddenly or turn in front of you. When possible do not pass children unless you have plenty of room and the time to safely do it.

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