Sharing the road with cyclists is an important aspect of road safety.
Whether you are a motorist or a fellow cyclist, you should understand the best practices for coexisting harmoniously on the road.
Respect their space
When approaching a cyclist, give them plenty of room. Maintain a safe distance when passing, as a sudden gust of wind or a pothole can affect their balance. In addition, cyclists are vulnerable to collisions with open car doors, so look before opening your door and instruct passengers to do the same.
Respect bike lanes and paths, and avoid driving in them unless it is necessary for a turn or emergency. Cyclists and motorists have designated rights in various traffic scenarios, so familiarize yourself with these rules. When overtaking a cyclist leave enough space to safely pass. Do not tailgate.
Indicate your intentions early, giving cyclists time to react. This helps prevent sudden and potentially dangerous surprises. Also, stick to posted speed limits so you can react to unexpected situations involving cyclists. Check for and yield the right of way at intersections to cyclists when necessary. Never park your vehicle in a bike lane, and force cyclists to merge into traffic unexpectedly.
Increase your safety precautions
Did you know that cyclists comprise more than two percent of deaths in motor vehicle accidents according to the CDC? Therefore, before making turns or changing lanes, check your blind spots for cyclists. In addition, keep your attention on the road and avoid activities like texting, eating or fiddling with the radio. Excessive honking or loud noises can startle cyclists and cause them to lose control. Be considerate and minimize noise, especially when passing.
Traffic congestion can be frustrating, but remember that cyclists are vulnerable road users. Exercise patience and stay calm to reduce potential conflicts.