Tips That Every Driver Should Know About Sharing The Road With Cyclists
Warm temperatures mean more cyclists on the road. Some cyclists will be experienced, some may be trying to ride to work for the first time. As a driver, it is important to be aware of cyclists and understand the importance of sharing the road with increased bicycle traffic.
Young Drivers of Canada provides drivers with a few tips that will help to keep drivers and cyclists safe on the roads.
1. Look for cyclists. They can appear quickly. When making a right turn, take the time to look for a cyclist that may be approaching. As a pedestrian, cyclists will have the right of way.
2. Don’t assume that a cyclist will hear your vehicle approaching. A cyclist is exposed to more noise than a driver in a vehicle. Be cautious when approaching a cyclist.
3. Be a patient driver. Do not pass a cyclist until you have a clear view of what is ahead and there is no oncoming traffic.
4. Bike lanes are designed for cyclist traffic. As a driver, do not stop or park in a bike lane. Impeding a bike lane forces cyclists to swerve into traffic lanes, creating a potential hazard for other drivers.
5. Look before you open your door, you don’t want to “door” a cyclist. Avoid being distracted by smartphones when exiting a vehicle. Check your mirrors and proceed with caution when opening a car door. Cyclists can come up quickly.
6. Be cautious at stop signs. Some cyclists may ride through a stop sign. Although it is illegal, some cyclists may slow down but not stop to avoid releasing their shoes from the bike pedals. Drivers should exercise caution at all stop signs, even if they have the right of way.
7. Not all cyclists are experienced. Not all drivers are experienced. These circumstances can result in a deadly combination. Stay alert when sharing the road. Remember, as a driver, you are operating a much larger vehicle than a bike. The chances are that in the event of a collision, a cyclist will receive the shorter end of the stick.
8. Exercise caution when backing out of parking spaces or driveways. As with pedestrians, look to make sure there is no one in your path. Children with small bikes may be difficult to see. Move slowly and continue to look carefully.
9. Look for cyclists when making a left hand turn. Cyclists who are crossing through an intersection in the opposite direction may be going faster than you think. Exercise caution when turning left.
10. Cyclists have a right to be on the road. Drivers should not be resentful of cyclists. Instead, they should understand the importance of sharing the road with cyclists.
As a driver it is important to remember that the road is not only for cars. During warmer temperatures, vehicular, cyclist and pedestrian traffic will increase, requiring drivers to be more aware of their surroundings. Be a patient driver. There is room for everyone!