Follow These Seven Tips to Share the Road with Bicyclists

Jul 2, 2018 By:

The sun and warm weather bring people outdoors—especially runners, walkers, and bicyclists.  Motorists should be fully aware of their surroundings at all times in order to avoid striking pedestrians or bicyclists. This time of year, drivers must be even more diligent about checking mirrors and assessing intersections thoroughly.

Like it or not, cyclists have the same rights to the road as a motor vehicle. As you might expect, when a crash occurs between motor vehicle and a bike, it is the cyclist who is more likely to be injured. The most common time for bicyclist fatalities is between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., and primarily in urban areas. If motorists and cyclists follow the rules of the road and watch out for each other, many crashes can be avoided. 

To help reduce injuries and deaths on the road, here are some tips from the National Highway Safety Administration about sharing the road with bicycles:

  • Yield to bicyclists as you would motorists and do not underestimate their speed. This will help you avoid turning in front of a bicyclist traveling on the road or sidewalk, often at an intersection or driveway.

  • In parking lots, at stop signs, when backing up, or when parking, search your surroundings for other vehicles, including bicycles. Knowing where they are will save lives.

  • Drivers turning right on red should look to the right and behind to avoid hitting a bicyclist approaching from the right rear. Stop completely and look left-right-left and behind before turning right on red.

    • Check mirrors closely during any right-hand turn to look for bicycles along the side of the vehicle.

    • When turning left, pay close attention to oncoming traffic, and be aware that bicycles may be approaching faster than they appear

  • Obey the speed limit, reduce speed for road conditions, and drive defensively to avoid a crash with a cyclist.

  • Give cyclists room. Do not pass too closely. Pass bicyclists as you would any other vehicle—when it’s safe to move over into an adjacent lane.

If drivers follow these tips, be aware, and avoid complacency, more people will make it home safely to their families each day.