Sharing the road with cyclists is an important aspect of safe and responsible driving.
Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other road users, so you should understand how to share the road with them effectively.
Maintain a safe following distance
The NHTSA found that 966 cyclists died in accidents involving motor vehicles in 2021, and driving too closely contributed to this number. Therefore, when you drive behind a cyclist, maintain a safe following distance of at least three feet, giving both you and the cyclist enough time to react to unexpected situations.
Be patient and pass cyclists cautiously. Move into the adjacent lane if available or slow down and give the cyclist a wide berth. Always check your blind spots before changing lanes or passing.
Be mindful at intersections
Intersections are particularly dangerous for cyclists. Remain vigilant when approaching intersections and yield the right of way to cyclists when necessary. Make eye contact with the cyclist to confirm their intentions before proceeding.
Use turn signals
Use your vehicle’s turn signals well in advance to give cyclists information about your intentions. Whether you are turning right, left or changing lanes, your signals help cyclists anticipate your movements and adjust their own accordingly.
Obey speed limits
Obey posted speed limits, especially in areas with heavy cyclist traffic or with designated bike lanes.
Check for cyclists in bike lanes
Always check for cyclists in designated bike lanes and do not drive or park in these lanes. Respect the bike lane as a dedicated space for cyclists, and only cross it when necessary.
Cyclists are vulnerable road users, and your actions can have a significant impact on their safety. Treat them with the same courtesy, patience and respect you would expect from others on the road.