Drivers and cyclists are supposed to share the road. This can be a bit daunting to cyclists, however, as they're in far more danger if either party makes a mistake that leads to an accident. Moreover, many drivers don't know exactly what they're supposed to do to share the road.
There are a few key things these drivers must remember.
- Cars have to yield to bicycles that have the right of way, just like they would with other cars.
- Drivers should remember that modern bicycles are quite fast. Accidents sometimes happen when drivers underestimate the speed of the bikes and pull out in front of them.
- Drivers always need to be on the lookout for smaller bikes, especially when backing up, turning or waiting at stop signs.
- Right-hand turns are especially dangerous, as bikes may fit on the right where the driver would never expect another vehicle, so it's important for drivers to vigilantly look on both sides behind the car before turning.
- In poor weather conditions, drivers should slow down.
- Regardless of conditions, speed limits should always be followed. Even a slight loss of control can be deadly for a cyclist in the nearby bike lane.
- Drivers always need to give bikes enough room. When passing the slower-moving vehicles, they shouldn't squeeze too close. For example, they should never pass in the same lane as the bike. Even though the bike doesn't take up the whole lane, it has as much of a right to it as another car.
Have you been hit and injured by a driver who failed to use these safety precautions? If so, be sure you know all of your legal options.
Source: NHTSA, "Bicycle Safety," accessed Feb. 23, 2018