By Lisa D. – Acuity Insurance

Driving comes with a lot of responsibilities. We must focus on operating our own vehicle while also looking out for other vehicles—including bicycles.

Bicyclists share the rights and responsibilities to follow the rules of the road; however, a person on a bicycle has far less protection than one inside a vehicle. Here are some things to keep in mind to help keep everyone safe:

Don’t assume. Bike riders may not always follow the same path as a car. They might swerve to avoid obstacles on the road, take up more space than you anticipate, change from riding on the sidewalk to riding on the street, or fall off their bicycle in a moment’s notice. Children on bikes are especially unpredictable.

Turn cautiously. Before turning, stop and look left-right-left and behind for any approaching bicyclist. Check your mirrors and blind spots. Yield to bicyclists the same as you would to motorists. Making eye contact with the bicyclist and waving acknowledges their presence and helps communicate intent.

Pass safely. When going to pass a bicyclist, slow down. The draft from your vehicle’s speed could cause the bike rider to lose control and have an accident. Just as you would pass a car, move into the left lane when it is safe to do so and pass with care. Return to your lane after the bicyclist is in your rearview mirror.

Bike lanes. These are sections of the road designated only for bicyclists so they have a space to ride safely. Look for signs and markings on the pavement to indicate where bike lanes are. Do not drive your vehicle in bike lanes.

Look before opening. Before getting out of your vehicle, check the area outside your car door. This is always a good practice in case there is a motorist, bicyclist, or pedestrian nearby. You don’t want the door to hit anything or anyone, including a bicyclist.

Bike riding can be an enjoyable activity for all ages. Let’s help keep each other safe when sharing the road.

Leave a Reply