Best practices for motorists
Since most of us use both cars and bicycles, here are some tips to remember when operating your motor vehicle:
Set a good example by demonstrating safe and respectful driving around bicyclists.
- Remember that bikes belong, and may legally use as much of the lane as they need for safety.
- When passing, give at least three feet of passing space between your vehicle and
- the bicyclist.
- After passing a cyclist on your right, scan over your shoulder before you merge back in.
- It’s easy to underestimate a bicyclist’s speed; carefully assess when passing or turning.
- When turning left at an intersection, yield to an oncoming cyclist just as you would any other vehicle.
- When turning right across a bike lane, always scan over your right shoulder and yield to bicyclists before turning.
- Before opening a car door on the traffic side, look for passing bicyclists, and open doors slowly.
- At intersections, stop behind the crosswalk area, then look for approaching pedestrians and cyclists before advancing across the intersection.
- At trail crossings, slow and look both ways before proceeding.
- Remember that bicyclists and pedestrians in a crosswalk have the right of way.
- Children on bicycles often act unpredictably: expect the unexpected and drive attentively in residential areas.
- Consider the impacts of your speed, especially in residential areas or routes commonly shared with bicyclists. A 20 mph crash with a bicycle or pedestrian has a 5% fatality rate. At 30 mph, the fatality rate jumps to 45%. At 40 mph, the fatality rate is 80%.