Can cars and bikes safely coexist?

Jun 7, 2012
By SFLCAuthor
Source: State Farm Insurance > Learning Center

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Some motorists don’t respect bikers. Some bikers don’t think the laws apply to them. But the truth is, both parties share the responsibility for reducing the risk of collision and injury on the road. These simple actions can help keep everyone safe.

Safety Steps for Drivers

  • If possible, slow down when driving near cyclists and avoid honking your horn.
  • Keep a safe distance between your car and a cyclist when passing. Try to increase the distance when you’re traveling at faster speeds.
  • After passing a cyclist, make sure you can see him/her in your rearview mirror before you return to the right lane.
  • When you’re parked on the street, check for cyclists before you open your car door.
  • Yield to bikes as you would other vehicles.
  • Scan bike lanes before making right turns.
  • Avoid distractions (such as cell phones) that could keep you from noticing a cyclist.

Safety Steps for Cyclists

  • Wear a helmet.
  • Obey all traffic laws, signs and signals.
  • Ride with traffic in the farthest-right lane.
  • Travel single-file when biking with others.
  • Make eye contact with drivers so you both know you’ve seen one another.
  • Use hand signals to notify drivers of your intention to stop or turn.
  • Think visibility! Wear brightly colored clothing and outfit your bike with the proper lights and reflectors.
  • When possible, travel three feet away from parked vehicles.
  • Practice extra caution around large trucks and buses, and be sure to avoid their blind spots. If you can’t see their mirrors, they can’t see you.

Driving and riding defensively is one of the most important steps drivers and cyclists can take to help ensure one another’s safety. Whether you’re navigating a bike or a car, always pay attention and be ready to deal with hazards.

Learn more about sharing the road from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the League of American Bicyclists.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.