Bicycles are an increasingly common mode of transportation on roads. Still, many drivers make mistakes that can lead to accidents and injuries.
Although some of the rules regarding safety near bikes are intuitive, there are several mistakes drivers often make that can lead to a devastating accident.
These are the mistakes you should avoid when driving near cyclists.
1. Failing to give enough space
One of the most common mistakes drivers make around bicycles is failing to give them enough space. Drivers should allow at least three feet of clearance when passing a cyclist and more space when traveling at higher speeds. Not giving enough space can lead to collisions with cyclists, causing serious injuries or even death.
2. Turning without checking for cyclists
Another common mistake drivers make is turning without checking for cyclists. Drivers should always check their blind spots and use turn signals to indicate their intentions to turn. Failing to do so can cause cyclists to crash into the vehicle or swerve into traffic to avoid a collision.
3. Opening car doors without checking for cyclists
Drivers who park on the side of the road should always check for cyclists before opening their car doors. Opening a door without checking can cause a cyclist to collide with the door, leading to injuries.
4. Speeding in areas with bicyclists
Speeding in areas with bicyclists is a dangerous mistake that many drivers make. Cyclists may be traveling at slower speeds and unable to react quickly to a speeding vehicle. Drivers should always obey speed limits and adjust their speed in areas with bicyclists.
5. Honking or yelling at cyclists
Some drivers may become frustrated with cyclists and honk or yell at them, which is rude and dangerous. Loud noises can startle cyclists and cause them to lose control of their bike, leading to a collision. Drivers should be patient and give cyclists the space to travel safely.
6. Passing cyclists too closely
Passing cyclists too closely is another common mistake drivers make. Drivers should always allow cyclists enough space when passing, allowing at least three feet of clearance. Passing too closely can cause cyclists to swerve or lose control of their bikes, leading to an accident.
7. Failing to yield to cyclists
Drivers should always yield to cyclists when appropriate, such as when they are in a bike lane or crossing an intersection. Failing to yield to cyclists can cause accidents and injuries.
When you stay aware of your surroundings and use caution around people on bikes, it can help both you and those on bicycles make it to your destination safely.