Sharing The Road With Cyclists

In Southern California, the temperate weather presents year-round opportunities for cyclists to be on the road. However, with more bicyclists on the road, the unfortunate reality is that accidents happen between cars and bicyclists.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports in their most recent survey that 726 cyclists were killed and an additional 49,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2012.

Bike Lane, Road For Bicycles

It’s imperative that drivers in Southern California are constantly aware of cyclists on the road.

Here are three things drivers should do to prevent accidents with bicyclists:

Take Right Turns Cautiously

Always look for cyclists when making right turns. They will often be in your blind spots as you round the corner. In addition, getting closer to the shoulder presents heightened danger for both parties. Look in the bike lane before you start merging to see if a cyclist will be approaching the corner at the same time you are. If a bicyclist is approaching, slow down in order to let the cyclist go through the intersection first.

Don’t Stop In The Bike Lane

Having a clear bike lane is important for cyclists’ safety. There may be situations, such as car trouble or dropping off someone, when you are tempted to stop in the bike lane. Avoid stopping in the bike lane at all costs. Stopped cars in the bike lane forces cyclists to navigate into traffic, which puts them at a higher risk of being involved in an accident with an automobile.

Don’t Count On Cyclists Hearing You

Cyclists are hearing a lot more noise than you are inside your car. Don’t count on a cyclists hearing you approach from behind. Additionally, you may be tempted to alert a cyclist with your horn, but this can startle them, potentially causing an accident. If you do approach a cyclist from behind, decrease your speed and proceed with caution. Only pass them when it’s safe to do so and you are confident the cyclist is aware of you.

When driving, keeping these three tips in mind could prevent a possibly deadly accident. Additionally, it’s important to understand pedestrian and bicyclist laws to ensure you are doing everything you can to keep yourself, and others, safe.

If you want more information, or have questions about driver safety and bicycle accidents or auto accidents, please call us at 800-676-5295 or send us a message for a free consultation.