Friday, March 15, 2013

Share the Road: Tips for Drivers

I often see so many tips for bicyclists on how to be safe out there and share the road, but what about tips for the motorists?

Since I've been biking to work for several months now, I've noticed a few things that might be helpful to share.

Share the Road: Tips for Drivers





Be aware. This is just a good driving tip in general. Pay attention to other vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians. Try to anticipate hazards a cyclist may encounter and give them room to maneuver around them.

Know the hand signals that bicyclists use.


If there's an available 2nd lane, use it. If there's a cyclist sharing the lane with you, and there is another available lane, move over to the next lane. Soon, you will be far enough ahead of her to be able to safely move back into your original lane.

Also, if you're approaching a red light, and you see a bike in one of the lanes, and there is an empty lane -- or even if there are only 2-3 cars in the next lane -- pull up to the red light in the lane without the cyclist. Most likely, you'll be well through the intersection before the cyclist is.

Don't use the shoulder as a right turn lane. Most cyclists will use the shoulder if there is a good one available. Remember, a bicycle is consider a vehicle and has the right of way when traveling straight through an intersection, unimpeded by a car turning right.

Don't pace with a cyclist. We know we're going slower than you, and waiting behind us in order to turn right might be a slight inconvenience, but it's really minimal; you'll make it up in no time. If you're turning right and need to wait for a cyclist, just slow down and get behind her - just as if it were another car you were waiting for. When you pace with us, it is often difficult for us to determine what you are trying to do -- cautiously wait behind us, turn right, or get our attention to alert us to something, etc.

Above all, Be courteous. This is kind of a no-brainer, and a good driving tip all in all. I already kind of touched on leaving plenty of room when passing a cyclist, but also avoid honking or yelling out the window. This will likely cause more harm, as it might startle the cyclist causing them to swerve.

More and more people are jumping on their bikes for recreation and/or commuting, so sharing the road is becoming more and more important. Let's work together to makes our roads even safer!

Here is a link with more excellent tips.
http://www.dot.state.oh.us/groups/EveryMove/Documents/ShareTheRoad_Tipcard.pdf

What other tips do you have for drivers, in sharing the road with cyclists?

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8 comments:

  1. This is such an AWESOME post! I'm an ER nurse and we get bike accidents all the time. As a triathlete, biking on the road is unavoidable. I feel more safe now that I know there's a post like this out there! Thanks!

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm glad you found my tips to be helpful.

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  2. Great tips Clarinda! I don't like to ride my bike on the road because I am afraid that drivers won't see me. It would be great if all drivers followed these simple tips:)

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  3. Very nice post. We live in a changing world; the only way everyone is going to learn about all the changes is if people keep spreading the word. Keep up the good work :)

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  4. Do you ever feel like you can tell who the runners and bikers are just by the way they drive/share the road?

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