6 Things a Motorist Should Do to Avoid Bicycle Accidents

Motorists should always be aware of bicycles on the road, opening up an extra lane when possible and slowing to maintain a safe distance. Cyclists should also be mindful of these issues and ensure they have lights at night or day, keep a straight line in traffic, and do not impede traffic by swerving everywhere. Bicycles are found on streets everywhere, leading to conflicts between bike riders and motorists. 

  1. Stay Alert

Bicycles are one of the fastest-growing forms of transportation, so motorists should expect to see cyclists on the road. That means drivers should be more watchful but not in a way that makes them distracted. Cyclists may seem invisible sometimes, but they are always there, ruining your commute. Look for flashing lights, use a mirror to see around the side of buses, and be aware of buses blocking lanes. Be wary when turning into driveways or park areas that you may cut off a cyclist.

  1. Use Extra Lanes

Strategize your drive to open up an extra lane for bicycle traffic. If driving on the freeway, rest in the left lane for a few minutes and then move over to allow cyclists to pass. Be aware of high pedestrian bridges that may cause cyclists to weave around them, especially at night. Causes of bicycle accidents include distracted motorists, drunk drivers, and bicyclists running red lights. Anticipate or expect cyclists at every turn and slow down for them. 

  1. Give a Wide Berth

Cyclists have the same rights as vehicles. Drivers must give bicycle riders at least three feet of clearance when passing. If you need to pass them and there is oncoming traffic, wait until it has passed before overtaking them. Always keep an eye out behind you for bikes that may be approaching from behind. Never follow cyclists too closely because they are slower than cars and can swerve suddenly.

  1. Observe Traffic Signals and Signs

Cyclists must follow the same road rules as automobiles, so ensure you can see them. Make sure you don’t block their lane or cut them off. If there is a bicycle lane, don’t drive in it. When turning into driveways, watch out for cyclists between parked cars. Keep an eye out for stop signs and lights like you would driving a car.

  1. Signal Your Intentions

Motorists are required by law to give cyclists a signal just like you would a car. If you let them know you intend to go straight and can’t change your mind, they will signal and wait until they pass. On the other side, signal them with your left hand if they are making a turn or stop.

  1. Maintain Your Path

You know the road better than a cyclist so let them know if you have to slow down or move over. If cyclists are too close, signal them with your left hand, brake with your right foot, and lean into the turn. Don’t swerve all over the place and block traffic by stopping in the middle of an intersection. If you are planning on making a right-hand turn, be aware that others may be planning to pass you by going straight ahead in the right lane so you can allow yourself enough time to brake while slowing down. 

Motorists always need to watch out for cyclists on the roadways so long as they both follow the same road rules. While cyclists are entitled to use the road, they should follow the same rules motorists do. They should avoid weaving in and out of traffic, ride in a straight line, stop at stop signs and traffic lights, not impede traffic by pacing back and forth in front of stopped cars, and have lights so that others can see them at night or day. 


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