Law  

Rules for Sharing the Streets with Cyclists

As more people begin riding bicycles for pleasure or fitness, the roads can become a dangerous place. Because the cyclist often has less protection than the car driver, a collision between a cyclist and an auto can result in deadly damage for the cyclist. Motorcycles, bicycles, and mopeds are all problems for inattentive drivers. Here are five rules motorists should follow when sharing the streets with cyclists.

Allow Ample Space

It is best to overestimate the amount of space your vehicle needs to move past the cyclist safely. The wind from your auto as it moves past can sometimes make a bicycle wobble dangerously or blow it off the road. Another problem is debris your car can throw up as it moves quickly over the street, injuring the rider or causing him or her to veer into traffic to avoid the object.

Understand Bike Lanes

Within the bike lanes, cars do not have the right of way, even when making a right-hand turn. Cars are allowed to pass through a bike lane when entering or exiting the main road, or when moving through the area to make a turn. Autos are not allowed to sit in the lane at a stop light waiting to make a turn; nor are vehicles allowed to prevent bikes from traveling in the lanes.

Identify Problem Intersections

Problems can arise when your vehicle wants to make a right-hand turn, and it must pass through a bike lane. Drivers forget to check to see if a cyclist is coming up from behind when they make a turn and sometimes they can cut the cyclist off. Since the biker has the right of way, you would need to call a car accident law firm Clearwater Florida for information on how to handle the accident.

Put Down Your Phone

Distracted drivers are estimated to take the lives of nine people every day, or almost 3,500 people per year, and the social impact of distracted drivers is about $40 billion each year. The best thing you can do for yourself, your passengers, and the cyclists is to put your phone down and pay attention to your surroundings as you share the road with everyone else.

Be patient when driving around cyclists and realize they have just as much right on the road as you do. Also, put your cell phone down and become aware of your surroundings – you just may save a life.

 

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