Sharing the Road with Bicyclists – The Dos and Don’ts
Learning about sharing the road with bicycles forms just a small part of any driving education program or license. As a result, not everyone is aware of their rights and requirements when they are a cyclist or driver sharing a road. If you require a refresher or have been involved in a bicycle vs. car collision, the following information may be helpful.
What to Do as a Cyclist
There are many benefits associated with using a bicycle as transport. Aside from it being a form of exercise, it can also save money compared to using a car. However, before you venture out on your bike, it may be a good idea to research what other road users expect of you.
You should follow the same rules, laws, and etiquette as you would in a car, such as stopping for red lights and stop signs, giving way, going with the traffic flow, and obeying traffic signs. You should also follow posted speed limits, use lights when biking at night, wear a helmet, and present your arms as turn signals to alert road users to your intentions. Cyclists may also quickly learn that it may not be a wise idea to cycle while intoxicated, even if it is not illegal in all states.
What Not to Do as a Cyclist
While not everything you should and should not do as a cyclist is against the law, avoiding some of the following things may prevent accidents and make you safer on the road. Refrain from blocking traffic in a travel lane, especially if you are going much slower than the vehicles in that lane. Avoid using your mobile phone and other devices while on your bike, and be on the lookout for tractor-trailers making wide turns. It is also essential to yield right of way to other cyclists and cars when entering roadways.
What to Do as a Car Driver
While cyclists can manage their behavior on the road to prevent collisions that could require bike accident lawyers, so can car drivers. Always give cyclists plenty of space to avoid a collision. How much space can depend on the state, but allow at least three feet. When passing, do so on the left, and wait to pass until you reach a two-lane highway or see a clear path.
Do not forget to check your blind spots when passing, and be patient if you cannot pass a cyclist immediately. Most importantly, always be aware of your surroundings. A split second of inattention can result in a severe car vs. bike collision that results in injuries or even a loss of life.
What Not to Do as a Car Driver
As a car driver, you are responsible for keeping yourself and those around you safe on the road. Do not assume that you always have the right of way and that a cyclist will give up their right of way because you are in a more powerful vehicle. Failure to remember your duty of care could result in a bike accident claim being filed against you.
Accidents happen, even to the safest of drivers and cyclists. However, some of the information above may be helpful for road users who are unsure about their requirements and etiquette for safe travel. If you have been involved in a bike accident involving a car, request a free consultation with a reputable bike accident attorney in Orange County.