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How to share the road safely with cyclists

Thousands of bicycle accident injuries and fatalities occur annually in the United States. The costs of bicycle accidents not only affect the victim’s family but also burden the healthcare system, cause a loss in the workforce and diminish the quality of life.

Checking in regularly on your driving or riding habits, whether you are a driver or a cyclist, can help save a life.

Tips for bicyclists

While navigating on the roads on your bicycle, you should follow the same traffic laws and rules as drivers of motorized vehicles. Stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Try to incorporate the following tips:

  • Check for oncoming traffic before entering an intersection.
  • Adjust your position in traffic by anticipating hazards.
  • Ride with the flow of traffic.
  • Avoid weaving in and out of parked cars on the street.
  • Stay alert to traffic sounds by not wearing headphones.

In addition to driving safely, preparing yourself before embarking on your journey also adds to your safety. Most states require the use of white front lights and rear red lights when you bike after dark. Wear high-visibility clothing with reflective material and a bicycle helmet.

Tips for motorists

If you ever find yourself driving near a cyclist, make sure to implement the following safety practices:

  • Allow a three-foot buffer when passing.
  • Obey the posted speed limit.
  • Yield while turning.
  • Proceed cautiously when passing stopped vehicles or crosswalks.
  • Check your surroundings before opening your door.
  • Turn your headlights on at dusk.

You can avoid future tragedies by combining these safety tips and extending some common roadway courtesies.

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