Over time, more bicyclists have been on the road, particularly in major cities. Driving more cautiously when sharing the road with bicyclists is crucial for everyone’s safety.
The first step in sharing the road for drivers is recognizing that bicyclists have rights. Due to their size and reduced visibility, they also face particular safety difficulties.
Drivers should be aware of the following when sharing the road with cyclists:
What Do Drivers Need to be Aware of When Sharing the Road with Bicycles?
1. Observe the Bicycle Lane
When sharing the road with a motorcyclist, drivers must respect cycling lanes. This means you should avoid parking in or swerving into bike lanes. When bike lanes are ignored, the biker is more likely to be pushed into car lanes, increasing the chances of an accident.
2. Open Your Car Door Carefully
When exiting your vehicle from the driver’s side, look behind you for any cyclists before opening the door. Put your phone down and take a look before exiting your vehicle.
3. Watch Your Turns
Never assume a cyclist will hear your car approaching from behind. A rider hears a lot more noise than you do when the windows are rolled up in your car. However, don’t rely on the horn.
The cyclist has the right of way when turning. So, before making a turn, take the time to check for cyclists.
Because cyclists travel on the right side of the road, a sudden turn could hit one of them. Before turning, check your mirrors and pay attention to your blind spots. Make a complete stop at a stop sign or red light to allow bikers to pass and look around for unscrupulous riders.
4. Not Every Road Has Bike Lanes
Even though having bike lanes on every road would make them safer and more effective, this isn’t the case. Therefore, be extra aware of your surroundings when driving on the road without a bike lane. If you must slow down or move aside to let a cyclist pass, do so.
5. Have Patience
Sharing the road with cyclists is not always simple since it needs a lot of patience. Even though you might be in a rush to get there, it is not worth risking a collision, or hurting a pedestrian, a cyclist, or your passengers.
6. Don’t Assume
Some riders are less skilled than others and can swerve, stop suddenly, or fall. Even experienced cyclists can sometimes find it challenging to avoid some of the multiple risks, like falling.
Therefore, when sharing the road with cyclists you should not assume they always move in a straight line alongside the road. Keep an eye on their movements.
7. Watch Out for Children
Children on bicycles are smaller and more difficult to see on the road, particularly for drivers of larger vehicles. When crossing at intersections, be cautious and considerate.
Children are less observant of their environment and the safety of the crossing. Give them the right of way, then wait for them to cross safely.
What Every Cyclist Must Know About Sharing the Road with Drivers
- Don’t shoot up the side facing the gutter when cars are at a stoplight. It’s something that most cyclists do, but it’s stupid and dangerous. Furthermore, it doesn’t save much time. If the light changes, traffic moves, and the driver you’ve just stopped next to may be unaware and cut you off with a turn.
- At a stoplight, avoid cutting in between two rows of vehicles. If traffic picks up speed and starts moving at 40 mph, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble. At a stoplight, avoid cutting in between two rows of vehicles. The risk is not worth the seconds you gain.
- Give plenty of time to signal your turns. Watch for red lights, and get in the habit of using your arms to signal. Good drivers will be patient with you, and bad drivers will know your location.
- Avoid using the sidewalk. It’s against the law in some areas, and it’s risky for both you and pedestrians.
- It is just as important for cyclists to wear helmets as for drivers to buckle their seatbelts because riding on the road increases the risk of injury in an accident. Also, dress in bright colors or reflective materials to stand out to drivers at all times of the day.
- Street cyclists must always ride on the right side of the road. Be careful not to swerve, and before advancing further into the traffic lanes, make sure the lane is clear. Moving in a single line if you travel with others so that cars can pass safely around you.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the right time to pass a cyclist?
Keep at least three (3) feet of space between your car and the cyclist, and keep it that way until you are safely past the bicycle. When passing the bike, leave a clear space behind you and keep it until you are safely past it.
What side of the road should a bicyclist ride on?
To help lower the likelihood of an accident, it is always essential to abide by traffic laws. As a bicyclist, you must always ride on the right side of the road and in the direction of the flow of traffic.
Can a cyclist pass on the left?
Never overtake traffic or long vehicles on the left. You risk being crushed if the vehicle moves off and turns left if the driver has not seen you.
Which guidelines should you adhere to when sharing the road with a motorcycle?
Although a motorcycle and a car can fit in one lane, remember that the motorcycle needs space to maneuver safely. Be kind enough to share the lane with the motorcycle.
Are bicyclists legally allowed to use the road?
On most public highways, bicyclists have a legal right to share the road; however, they are not allowed on expressways and highways.
Today, there are more bikes on our roads, so learning some fundamental rules for sharing the road with bicyclists and motorcyclists is important.
If you’ve been wondering what to do when sharing the road with bicyclists, you have the answers now.
You need to be patient, drive extra caution, and pay attention to your surroundings. You’ll make sure that everyone’s roads are safer by doing this.