Due to high fuel prices and an increasing concern for the environment, more and more people have started donning helmets and riding bicycles. This increases cyclist traffic on the roads.
However, sharing the road presents challenges for both motorists and cyclists. Therefore, these are a few safety tips you should consider when sharing the road with cyclists.
You probably know that distracted driving is one of the top causes of accidents. Therefore, put away your cell phone, turn down the music and keep your attention on the road. Watch for cyclists in front of you or those coming up from behind you when you stop. This is especially important on roads where you commonly see bicycles and in residential areas where kids may ride their bikes.
When you park your car, look around before opening your door.
Learn hand signals
Although some modern bicycles have upgraded lights and signals, not everyone does. Therefore, you should understand what cyclists attempt to communicate with you. They use hand signals to let you know they plan to turn and which way, and if they are ready to stop or slow down.
Give them space
Cyclists have just as much of a right to the road as you do, but they also need to follow the laws. You do have the right to pass them on the road, but give them extra space when you do. However, only pass when it is safe to move closer to or into the lane next to you. Then, pass as if the bicycle is a motor vehicle. Also, turn with caution because cyclists can enter your blind spot and come to your side quickly.
To prevent accidents with cyclists, consider giving them the right of way and remaining vigilant while operating or parking your vehicle.