How to Safely Share the Road with Cyclists

With warmer weather in Clarkston, MI on the horizon, people are ready to get out of their homes and fight off the winter blues. Soon you will be sharing the road with a lot more than just motorists. There will be a lot more to pay attention to if you want to be a safe driver and avoid accidents, costly auto repairs, and injuries. So here are a few tips to help you navigate city roads safely and share the road, specifically with cyclists.

What Cyclists Should Do to be Safe

Here are a few tips if you are on a bike:

  1. Wear a Helmet

There are several things you can wear as a cyclist to be safe, but the most important is your helmet. Make sure it is of proper size and you wear it the right way to protect your head should you get in an accident.

  1. Follow Traffic Signs and Laws

Just because you are on a bike and have the right of way doesn’t mean you command the road. If you want to stay safe, you are responsible to obey the laws. Stop for stop signs and traffic lights, go with the flow of traffic, and use proper turn lanes and signals so drivers know where you are going. If you are unfamiliar with traffic and cycling in your area, it wouldn’t hurt to brush up before setting off on a ride.

  1. Ride in the Bike Lane

When you have the opportunity, always ride in the bike lane. And when you have to avoid obstacles in the bike lane, be careful to check for oncoming cars before moving into the general travel lane. If you do not have a bike lane, the best etiquette is to ride fairly close to the curb on the right hand side. Do not ride on the sidewalk, because that is often reserved for pedestrians.

  1. Use Lights and Reflectors

When biking at night you want the cars to see you. While you probably have reflectors on your bike, rarely is that enough to make you visible to motorists. Invest in both front and rear bike lights, and maybe consider getting a reflective vest if you are a regular night time rider.

  1. No Distracted Biking

Just as if you were behind the wheel of a vehicle, you should not bike while intoxicated or use your phone.

What Drivers Should do to be Safe

In addition to obeying regular traffic laws, here is what you need to do if you are behind the wheel:

  1. Yield

Give bikers the right of way, and give them plenty of space. Most states require motorists to give bikers at least three feet of clearance between you and the cyclist in front of you.

  1. Pass Slowly and Use Caution When Turning

Allow plenty of room for your car to safely pass a cyclist, and always pass at slower speeds. You do not want to accidentally swipe or hit a biker, and faster speeds can make those impacts even more devastating. Don’t clip an unsuspecting rider with a quick turn. Be aware of your surroundings and blind spots when you move to turn. If you are turning at a light or stop sign, stop completely and look for cyclists before proceeding.

  1. Stay Out of Bike Lanes

Designated bike lanes are for cyclists. When driving, pulling over, or even parking, do what you can to stay out of these areas. It is dangerous for a cyclist to maneuver into the general traffic lanes to get around a vehicle.

  1. Watch for Children

Children are smaller and much harder to spot than adult riders. They are also less aware of their surroundings and unsure of when it is safe or appropriate to cross. So be considerate and careful at intersections and crosswalks where children are likely to be present.

  1. Never Assume

Not all cyclists are proficient. They can suddenly swerve, brake, or fall. There could also be debris, obstacles, or unsafe conditions along the side of the road that are hard to avoid. So don’t always presume cyclists will stay in their lane. Be aware of them and their movements.

Practicing proper safety and sharing the road with other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists is just part of safe driving. Another part is making sure your car is safe to drive. For routine checks and >auto repairs in Clarkston, MI contact us. The technicians at Holly Tire are ASE certified so you can get quality auto repairs at a fair price. Stop by 15140 N Holly Rd Holly, MI 48442 for your next appointment.

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