Jeremy Thurman on May 1, 2013
Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate cycling and its many benefits. For cycling enthusiasts and novices alike, information is widely available on how to keep safe on the roadways. As motorists, May is a good time to reflect on keeping our two-wheeled- companions safe on the roads we share.
By following a few key safety tips, and treating cyclists on the roads as you would any other vehicle, you’ll help avoid an accident.
Be Patient: It can be frustrating to feel like you are stuck behind a slow moving bicycle when you are in a rush, but it’s essential to make sure that you can see far enough down the road to safely pass a cyclist. Likewise, don’t attempt to pass a cyclist when the road conditions along the shoulder may be hazardous for him or her. A few seconds saved is not worth putting someone else in danger.
Be Aware: Pay attention to the road and be especially aware of any cyclists nearby when you are approaching an intersection. If you plan on making a turn make sure that you won’t be either cutting a cyclist off, if you are taking a right hand turn, or putting yourself in the path of a cyclist, if you are taking a left hand turn.
Be Considerate:The difference between an automobile and a bicycle is huge, if you have the opportunity to make it a little easier for cyclists to navigate the roadways, do. This may mean keeping your eye out for road hazards that will keep a cyclist from riding to the right. If you see something, allow the cyclist to ride closer to the center of the lane. When passing a cyclist, make sure you give them ample room. Drag from a passing car can pull a cyclist off course and possibly cause them to lose control of his bicycle.
Be Careful: When you are backing up out of a space or into the road, make sure you check not just for other cars, but for bicycles too. Similarly, when you are exiting a car parked parallel to the road, make sure you check your mirrors for any approaching cyclists. A suddenly opened door can be dangerous to a fast moving cyclist.
Over the summer months, more and more bicyclists will be on the roads. Make sure you’re aware of your surroundings, and the many ways you can keep cyclists safe.
For more motorist tips, check out Yield to Life.