Bicycles are one of the biggest forms of transportation in the United States. You will find lanes for cyclists in many areas. Still, in many areas, cycling on the road is the only way to get around and considered normal. When this is the case, you have to be extra careful not to hit cyclists while you are driving.
Cycling on the road isn’t going anywhere. What you can do is to become a safer and more efficient driver to prevent collisions.
Know what ‘bike safety driving’ is
If you’re driving in a place where cyclists are commonly seen on the road, you have to practice bike safety driving. This involves staying focused and aware of the presence of cyclists on both sides of your car. Don’t try to overtake on a cyclist as this can create collisions.
Be aware that most bikes don’t have side mirrors. As the bigger vehicle, it’s your responsibility to take care and decrease speed when you’re getting near a cyclist. If a cyclist is behind you, always use your blinkers to show your intention to change lanes. Lastly, if the cyclist is being too slow, you can honk to make them aware of your presence.
Put yourself in the shoes of cyclists
If you’re getting impatient, try to put yourself in the shoes of cyclists. A bike weighs at least 20 pounds and it can easily go over with a single knock. Cyclists don’t have much more protection than the helmet on their head. Try your best to stay out of the cyclist’s lane.
Respect their space
Almost everywhere has laws that protect cyclists. Be aware that in most states, cyclists enjoy the same right as motorists. If you have a collision with them or violate their rights on the road, you can get a ticket and may face a lawsuit.
There isn’t an excuse for hitting cyclists. Roads are so wide. Even if it’s rush hour, just be grateful that the cyclist isn’t bringing another car that will add up to the congestion. As a result, you actually benefit from their transport choice. In return, you should give them their space.
Be kind and patient
Bikers don’t do a lot of damage to the road. They don’t wear out roads, they don’t cause potholes, and they don’t cause pollution. In fact, they are doing motorists a favor by saving space on the road by not using a car.
So if a group of cyclists gets in your way, be patient and let them get their distance. Sounding your horn repeatedly isn’t a solution, not to mention that it’s very rude.
Be more vigilant
If you’re caught in the middle of dozens of cyclists, being aware is crucial. Slow your vehicle and let them clear up before you hit the pedal again. This will reduce the risk of collision. Besides, you don’t want to ruin your car’s paint by clipping one and you don’t want a lawsuit.
Whenever and wherever you a driving, always keep your eyes on the road and be aware of cyclists.