Just like drivers in cars, bicyclists have a right to be on the road. It’s important to be mindful, keep your eyes open for cyclists and share the road with them.
Follow these tips for safe driving around cyclists:
- If you're attempting to pass a cyclist, pass only on the left, not on the right.
- To pass a bicyclist safely:
- Make sure there is no oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the road
- Give yourself enough room between you and the cyclist; don’t get too close
- Look over your shoulder before moving back
- Do not drive distracted. During a simple three-second glance down to your cell phone, when traveling at 70 miles per hour, you travel over the length of a football field. Stay alert and keep an eye out for cyclists.
- Remember that cyclists are more vulnerable than someone in a vehicle. They often only have a helmet to protect them.
- Bikers can be hard to see, especially at night.
- Watch for flashing or reflective lights
- Look for hand signals
- Check your surroundings before making a right turn to avoid hitting a cyclist.
- Check your mirrors before opening your car door to avoid hitting a cyclist and causing them to fall.
- The bike lane serves a purpose – to keep the cyclist safe. It’s not for drivers to have a little extra room in their lane. Mind your boundaries.
- Don’t assume a cyclist can hear your vehicle coming from behind. Be cautious and, if necessary, give them a little honk to be sure they know you’re there.
If an accident occurs between a cyclist and a car, the car will win. According to the IIHS, each year about 2% of motor vehicle crash deaths are bicyclists and in 2016, 835 were killed in a crash. Don’t be a part of the statistic, drive safely around bicycles.
For more safe driving tips, visit Element's Tips and Advice page.