As the weather gets warmer, you know what’s coming…cyclists! Many cities denote bike-riding areas using bike lanes; however, there are many instances where you will be sharing the road, and even the same lane, as a bicyclist. Make sure you understand the dangers and necessary precautions for driving alongside cyclists.
Check your blind spot. According to Edmunds, when riding on the road with cyclists, this includes a little behind and to the right of you. If you are turning right, but a cyclists is behind you and planning on heading straight, you may end up hitting each other. Take an extra second when turning right to check for cyclists.
Understand the vulnerability of bicyclists and give extra room. Although cars weigh an average of two tons, the average bike weighs 20 pounds. Even tapping a bike rider with your car could be fatal. Also, because they are smaller, you may be inclined to give them less room. Be sure to accommodate for this by leaving 4 to 5 seconds between you and the rider in front of you.
Are bicyclists cars or pedestrians? In most cities in the US and Europe, bike riders that are 10 years and older should behave like vehicles on the road. That means they cannot ride on the sidewalk, and they must obey traffic laws.
Finally, adjust your attitude. While you might think of bicyclists as yet another inconvenience, they are your equals on the road. Plus, there are many advantages to bike riding, including better health, zero harmful emissions, and no gas costs.
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