Sharing the Road With Cyclists
Biking around town is a great family activity, but it can be dangerous if others are not sharing the road. According to the NHSTA in 2017, 783 cyclists were killed in traffic crashes. Being informed about bicycle safety and the rules of the road can prevent accidents before they happened. Regardless whether you are on a bike or driving in your car, knowing these safety tips can help keep everyone safe!
Safety For Drivers
When sharing the road with cyclists, make sure that you are alert and aware of your surroundings. Here are some tips to help you navigate the situation safely:
- Be cautious when making turns. You never know who or what might be around the corner. Make sure to check your mirrors and blind spots. If you are at a red light or a stop sign, come to a complete stop and check before proceeding.
- Give Cyclists Space. As you pass a cyclist, give them plenty of space. Some states require you to give bikes at least 3 feet of space when passing. Even if your state doesn’t have this law, be patient if you want to pass.
- Yield to Cyclists. Give cyclists the right of way. By doing so, you can clearly see them in your line of vision. It also helps avoid confusion.
- Keep Out of Bike Lanes. Bikes lanes are designed to keep cars and cyclists at a distance. Stay out of them. Even if there appears to be no one around, they might be around the corner or in your blind spot.
- Be Careful Opening Doors. When getting out of your car, be mindful when opening your door. You don’t want to accidentally hit a cyclist as you get out of your vehicle.
Safety for Cyclists
If you decide to ride your bike on the road, be aware of the potential threats you may face. These tips may be able to help you avoid an accident:
- Always wear a helmet. It’s important to always wear a helmet when you are riding a bike. Equip yourself with a helmet that fits properly.
- Ride the Right Sized Bike. Riding a bike that’s too big can be hard to control. Find a bike that suits your height.
- Wear Bright or Reflective Clothing. Wearing brightly colored or reflective clothing will help drivers see cyclists on the road. Especially if you are riding during dusk or dark, cars may have difficulty seeing you on the road.
- Use Hand Signals for Turning. Before you head out onto the road, brush up on the hand signal for turning. This will help indicate your intentions to others on the road.
- Drive the Same Direction as Traffic. In the US, this is typically on the right side of the road. Follow the flow of traffic.
- Obey Street Signs. Similar to cars, follow the street signs. If there is a stop sign or light, come to a stop before proceeding. You should also follow road markings.
- Be Alert. When riding on the road, always pay attention to the things around you. Don’t text, listen to music, or do other activities that may distract you. Assume that cars don’t see you and be alert!
Talk to your insurance agent if you have any questions about road safety this summer. They can help address any questions or concerns may have! You can also ask about auto insurance and other ways to help protect your family.