How To Co-Exist With Cyclists On the Road
It can often be frustrating for drivers who find themselves driving in close proximity to cyclists. Although practices to keep both the cyclist and the driver safe have been put in place over the years, there are still many accidents involving cyclists and drivers every day - this sometimes pits drivers and cyclists against each other. For this reason, we have compiled a list of the top 5 ways to co-exist peacefully with cyclists while driving.
5. Know Cyclist's Rights. Many car drivers don't understand why cyclists insist on riding in the street, especially if there is a sidewalk nearby. What many people don't know, however, is that cyclists over the age of ten should act as though they are a vehicle on the street, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Cyclists should ride with traffic that is going the same direction as they are, rather than riding into traffic going the opposite direction. If you find yourself stuck behind a cyclist who is going too slow for your taste, wait until a dotted yellow line signals that it is safe for you to go around him, and be sure that there is no oncoming traffic.
4. Give Cyclists At Least 3 Feet of Space. Although many states have passed laws regarding how far away a vehicle should be from a cyclist, many others have still not done so. To be safe, make sure to keep at least 3 feet of space between you and the cyclist, or more if possible. This ensures that you have room to stop unexpectedly if necessary, while also giving you and the cyclist peace of mind.
3. Beware of Turning. Always exercise great caution while turning when in close proximity to a cyclist. Use your turn signals every time, and be sure that they are blinking for at least 15-20 seconds to ensure that the cyclist is aware of your next move. Also be aware that the cyclist may be going faster than you think, and if you are unsure of whether or not it is safe to turn, yield and let the cyclist pass you before turning. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
2. Adjust Your Attitude. Many drivers think of cyclists as being "in the way," and this is where much of the tension comes from. However, by changing your perspective a bit, you may find yourself appreciating cyclists in a way you never thought was possible. A cyclist means one less car on the road, and less pollution, too.
1. Stay Alert. You must always be careful while driving, but it especially important to stay alert and cautious while there is a cyclist around you. Even if you turn your eyes for just one second, it could cause a collision between you and the cyclist, and he or she could end up seriously injured as a result. Also be sure to always check around your car before you get out to be sure that there are no cyclists that could ride by at the wrong moment and get hit while you are exiting your vehicle.
Despite cycling being a nuisance to some drivers, it is important to accept that they are here to stay. Cycling has become increasingly popular as a transportation method in the last few years because of it's environmental and health benefits. By keeping these 5 tips in mind, you can stay sane and safe while driving around cyclists.
Mr. Transmission Sandy Springs
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June 21, 2012