If you have any experience driving, you’re probably familiar with how tricky it is to maneuver around cyclists. Everybody knows what the rules are on paper. But the reality is that cyclists can randomly weave around in traffic. And this causes drivers to feel nervous about whether or not a collision could happen. Regardless of whether or not a cyclist is traveling in a stable way, motorists who practice defensive driving can contribute greatly to everyone’s safety in these situations.
The American Safety Council advises that, “Motorists have a responsibility to share the road with bicycles while driving. Drivers should note the vulnerability of cyclists, and remember how fatal a collision with a cyclist can be. While many drivers wish cyclists would use the sidewalk, that is in fact prohibited by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) unless the cyclist is under the age of 10. Remember that the driver is not entitled to the road: cyclists have as much of a right to the road as a vehicle.” Here are a few quick safety tips on how to drive around cyclists:
1. Share the Road:
The majority of space on the road is designated for use by automobiles, but that doesn’t change the fact that cyclists also have a right to ride in their lanes. Instead of trying to box cyclists out, give them space to move safely.
2. Look Around for Additional Safety Problems:
Sometimes cyclists ride in groups. And just because you see one cyclist, doesn’t mean there aren’t others nearby. Being aware of this can prevent drivers from accelerating too much around cyclists.
3. Adjust Your Speed:
The moment you see a cyclist in traffic, be prepared to slow down and stop. The frame of your vehicle might offer you added protection, but cyclists travel completely exposed to the elements. This makes them more vulnerable if an accident were to happen.
4. Use Your Turn-Signals:
If there’s one moment that turn-signals should never be neglected, it’s around cyclists. Never assume that cyclists recognize why it is that vehicles adjust their speed in order to turn.
5. Observe Their Signals:
If and when cyclists use gestures to communicate with drivers, respect these gestures. Bicycles do not come with loud horns or bright blinkers. The only way to understand what a cyclist intends to do when turning is by watching their hand signals.
The key to preventing traffic collisions around cyclists is attentiveness. Not only should drivers pay attention to what cyclists do, they should also analyze the horizon and adjust their speed accordingly. Thinking ahead in order to predict traffic conditions makes it possible to circumvent imminent collisions. For more information, visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-639-7654 to find out how Adriana’s Insurance Services can help you stay safe. We got you covered!