May is National Bike Month. Each spring, restless cyclists are finally able to resume their rides throughout the state. Other motorists need to be aware of the dangers these riders face. When bikes return, drivers must take some safety precautions into consideration as they share the roads.
- Drivers should slow down when approaching a bicycle. A fast-moving car or unexpected opening of a door can cause a bicyclist to swerve toward traffic.
- Do not honk at a bicyclist, as it may surprise them. Leave at least three feet when passing a bicycle.
- Obey the speed limit. Slow down if necessary due to road conditions.
- Yield to bicycles and motorcycles like any other vehicles to avoid a collision.
- When opening a car door, try to open the driver’s side with your right hand. This allows you to look for an oncoming bicycle before opening the door.
If you’re a bicyclist, here’s how you can stay safer during your travels:
- Ride with traffic in the same direction.
- Tuck and tie your shoelaces so they do not get tangled in your bike chain.
- Plan your route ahead of time. Try to choose routes that have less traffic and slower speeds.
- Assume drivers do not see you.
- Learn and use proper hand signals.
- Look for hazards or dangerous situations to avoid that may cause you to fall, such as rocks, potholes, grates and tracks.
- Watch for pedestrians and make sure to announce if you have to pass by them, or consider using a bell.
One of the most important things you can do as a driver is NOT DRIVE DISTRACTED. Please be mindful of everyone on the roads and have a great summer!