Preventing Collisions with Cyclists
In recent years, more and more people are cycling to get around than they were in the past. Cycling accidents are almost always detrimental to the cyclist, but they’re nearly always the fault of the driver! So, how can you stay safe on the roads with cyclists?
Bikes are Vehicles Too
Although bikes may have their own bike lanes, they are considered vehicles on the road, and it is not always safe for them to ride on the sidewalk. Cyclists have rights and responsibilities on the road, but you should need to treat them as vehicles too.
Don’t Risk It
With cyclists, it’s important to play it safe. If you aren’t sure what they’re doing, wait instead of moving forward. This can mean that you should avoid tailgating, recognize that potholes and other road hazards may affect the way a cyclist rides, and allow time and space for cyclists to ride safely.
Bike Lanes are For Bikers
Bike lanes exist for bikers to ride safely and stay out of your way, while car lanes are designed automobiles. In order to stay safe on the road, you need to respect that bike lanes are for bikers only. If you’re in a bike lane, a cyclist may swerve into traffic, leading to dangerous accidents.
Check Mirrors and Blind Spots
Whether you’re moving or parked, always check your blind spots and your mirrors before driving, turning, or even opening a door! If you don’t see a cyclist on the road, you could cause a collision.
Double Check When Turning
Generally, cyclists ride on the right, and when you’re making a right turn in a vehicle, you need to cross the bike lane, and check for cyclists, to do so safely. However, you’re making a left hand turn, make sure to wait for cyclists crossing the intersection from the other direction too! They may be going faster than you think, and for a cyclist, a fast stop can be dangerous.
Pass with Caution
Yes, in many cases, cyclists aren’t going as fast as automobiles. That doesn’t mean you have the right to pass them at any time. Always leave plenty of space, avoid tailgating, and wait until you can legally pass with enough room to do so safely.
Change Your Attitude
Have you ever been a cyclist on the road? Different cyclists have different reasons for biking, whether they want to do their part for the environment, exercise more, or they want the ease of parking close to wherever they’re going. Consider the benefits of biking, even for you! Cyclists are not a nuisance on the road, they are driving vehicles just like you. Remember that every bike on the road means one less car!