It really should be easy, but it is not. Time and time again, too many motor vehicle drivers just do not give bicyclists the recognition they deserve on California roads. They ignore them, shake their fists at them, disrespect them and can even kill them.
There are so many things that drivers can do to make things easier for bicyclists. However, some drivers may ignore these guidelines or are just unaware of the things they can do to coexist with bicyclists and improve safety.
Provide space, greater care on turns
Here are some of the crucial points that drivers should know when sharing a road with a bicyclist:
- They have legal rights to be there: Bicyclists have every right to be on the road. Why? Because it is the law.
- Give them space: Motor vehicle drivers must give bicyclists 3 feet of space when passing them. Known as the “Three Feet for Safety Act,” this law came into existence in 2014. California is among several states that have such a law.
- Bike lanes represent a part of the road: Without lanes, bicyclists are forced to ride on a road’s edge, which is filled with potential hazards such as cracked and uneven pavement, sand and debris.
- Pay extra attention to left turns: Yield to bicyclists when making a left turn. Not only do so at intersections, but also when entering roads from driveways, alleys and side streets.
- Do the same with right turns: Signal your turn and travel to the road’s edge when preparing to turn. Also, only make the turn after the bicyclist riding in front of you passes through the intersection.
It is not difficult for motorists and bicyclists to coexist. When they acknowledge each other and follow the rules of the road, more harmony is possible.
Better educated drivers mean fewer collisions
Educating drivers is an essential component in reducing the number of collisions with bicyclists. Responsibility, attentiveness and compassion triangulate to make this possible.