With most schools back in session, young bicyclists are out on the road in greater numbers. While bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, bikes are harder to see from inside a vehicle. And children riding bikes present an even greater challenge for drivers as they sometimes are not aware of their surroundings and may create a dangerous condition. According to the National Safety Council, a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist is the most common cause of a collision.
As a driver, follow these safety precautions and stay alert, especially around schools where children on bikes are more common:
- While it may seem odd, bikes can share the same lane with other drivers. If there is room for both the bike and your car, leave at least 3 feet between your car and the cyclist and proceed in the same direction slowly;
- If you are turning left and a bicyclist approaches from the opposite direction, wait for the bike to pass you;
- Keep an eye out for young bike riders who might turn in front of you without looking or signalling;
- If a bicyclist is approaching from behind you on the right, and you’re turning right, let the bicyclist go first and always use your turn signals;
- Watch for bikes in school zones and residential neighborhoods. Keep in mind that bikes can sometimes come from behind parked cars or driveways;
- Always check all side mirrors before you open your car door. Get in the habit of opening your driver’s side door with your right hand instead of your left. This will force you to turn and look behind you before opening your door making sure that no bikes are coming.
- Check your blind spot before making a right turn.
More bikes on the road requires a higher level of attention and caution while driving, especially as lot of the riders are young children. Following these safety tips will help to ensure that everyone stays safe on the road.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of fatal car accidents in the U.S. The attorneys at Alexander Law Group, LLP have significant experience litigating cases involving serious car accidents. Call us now at 888.777.1776 or visit us online to find out how we can help.