How to Share the Road With Bicyclists

how to share the road with bicyclists

Learn how to share the road with bicyclists and how to keep everyone on the road safe.

Each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, hundreds of bicyclists die in traffic accidents involving motor vehicles, and thousands more suffer serious injuries. When you are driving on the road, you must do your part to drive safely and share the road with bicyclists, as a person on a bike is much more vulnerable to injuries resulting from a collision. To avoid tragic accidents, or exorbitant insurance payouts for vehicle damage or personal injuries, read our tips below for driving safely alongside bicyclists. 

Appreciate Bicyclist Vulnerability

While a car can weigh two tons, the average bike is just 20 pounds. When a car hits a bike, the bike and its rider will suffer greater injuries every time. Remember this difference in vulnerability when you share the road with bicyclists, and take care to drive your vehicle safely.

Know The Rights of Bicyclists

Bicycles on the road are considered vehicles and are expected to behave as vehicles do by riding in the direction of traffic and obeying traffic rules. Bicyclists are entitled to share the road with you, and you should treat them the way you would other cars on the road. 

Signal Your Right Turns

You can share the road with bicyclists more safely by remembering always to signal your turns. In particular, if you are about to turn right, and a bicyclist is behind you going straight, they may not be aware of your turn and subsequent speed change. This confusion can result in the bicyclist hitting your car as you complete your turn. Additionally, if you want to know if a cyclist is about to turn right, they will have their left arm raised at a 90-degree angle, or their right arm extended.

Don’t Underestimate The Speed of a Bicyclist

If you are about to make a left turn and see an oncoming bicyclist, you may figure you have enough time to complete your turn. However, a bike can easily travel at 15 or 20 miles per hour. When in doubt, yield to the oncoming bicyclist as you would another vehicle. 

Give Bicyclists Three Feet of Clearance

It is recommended that drivers keep about three feet between their car and a bicyclist. When you share the road with bicyclists, you must also pass them slowly and smoothly. The tendency is often to speed up and pass the bicyclist quickly, but this may startle the bicyclist. 

Practice Awareness at All Times

When your car is parked, look before you open your door, so an unsuspecting bicyclist doesn’t collide with the door. Besides possibly causing damage to your vehicle, this can send the bicyclist flying into traffic to deadly results. 

When you’re on the road, you should always be aware of your surroundings. This means actively looking for surrounding cars, pedestrians, or bicyclists that could interact with your vehicle.

Let Simons & Goldner, P.A. Represent You

Simons & Goldner, P.A., located in Lutherville, MD, consists of two partners, Stevan G. Simons and Richard H. Goldner practicing primarily in personal injury, medical malpractice, Worker’s Compensation, and criminal law. The partners come with decades of experience assisting clients injured by the negligence of others or injured on the job. We serve clients in the Baltimore, Towson, Essex and Dundalk area and work closely with our clients to ensure that your case moves quickly and efficiently and that you get all the benefits to which you are entitled.

Initial consultations are available by phone or in-person and are free of charge. Contact us now to schedule a consultation, or call us today at 410-296-3110. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn for advice and updates.

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