The number of cyclists that are hit by motor vehicles each year is astounding. So, as the driver of one of those vehicles, you should definitely be concerned with roadway safety and knowing what it takes to avoid car-versus-bike accidents. If you are mindful in your approach to sharing the road, then there is no reason why both vehicles can’t coexist in the same space.
First and foremost, you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times. That means no distracted driving – no texting, no makeup application, no roadway mealtime, or anything else that takes your attention away from the road. Look up, and pay attention. You wouldn’t believe how often drivers say, “I never saw that cyclist until I ran into him.” Most of these tragedies could have been prevented with simple awareness.
Next, of course, is that you need to be patient. Don’t expect cyclists to be able to keep up with you. If you’re on a narrow roadway with no bike lane, just take it slowly. It’s not worth getting frustrated about it, and road rage will get you nowhere. Instead, wait patiently for your chance to pass. Don’t startle the cyclist by yelling or blowing your horn, either. That is also very dangerous.
Other tips for sharing the road with cyclists include:
- Use caution when you open your card door after parking. Oftentimes, cyclists will crash into a door, if they can’t see that you’re about to open it.
- Never try to estimate the speed of an oncoming cyclist. It’s too difficult to make an accurate guess. Let them pass before you attempt a turn.
- Give cyclists extra space. Stay as far back as you can, but a minimum of three feet.
In general, we all need to accept that cyclists are a permanent part of our culture. In fact, more and more people are making the switch to bicycles when they have a short commute. So, make the effort to keep our roadways safe. It may cost you a few extra seconds in your commute time, but that is much better than the alternative.
Roanoke Driving School: Driver Improvement Clinic
Are you looking for driver training in Roanoke, Virginia? Look no further than Drive This Way Premier Driver Training School. We will work with you to reinforce the good habits and to minimize the bad ones. Our Driver Improvement Clinic or DIP class satisfies the requirements of the Virginia DMV to deduct 5 points from your driving record.