If you commute to work daily, then you’ve probably had to drive behind a bicyclist or motorcyclist a few times. Sharing the road with a cyclist can be frustrating and scary, especially if you don’t know which road rules apply for them. It can be scary for cyclists too, and when they are unsure of their road rights, confusion can occur, and possibly accidents. In order to avoid any cyclist accidents caused by a driver or cyclist, here are some tips on how to properly share the road.
What Should Drivers Know?
There’s a few things that drivers should keep in mind while they’re sharing the road with cyclists. First, it’s important to realize that bicycles weigh nothing compared to a car, SUV, or truck, so be aware of how much more vulnerable a bicyclist is when it comes to his or her safety. Also, be conscious of the benefits of bicycling for drivers. They take up much less room in a driving lane, so they technically create less traffic. They also don’t wear out the road, so they cause fewer road issues like potholes, and they’re also environmentally friendly, so they cause less pollution. Lastly, be cautious when exiting your car and opening your door, yield at left and right turns, and generally be equally respectful to cyclists as you are to other drivers.
What Should Bicyclists Know?
Bicycles in the road are considered vehicles, so bicyclists should have the same confidence and comfort on the road as their fellow drivers. On public roads, bicyclists share the same rules, regulations and general traffic laws. One of the biggest differences is the act of signaling while switching lanes; bicyclists should always use the appropriate hand signals to indicate left and right turns. Be aware that in an accident, a bicyclist will almost always have the more severe injuries, so it’s always important to wear a helmet and any other protective gear.