Sharing the Road with Bikers – Tips for Drivers
Summertime in California, and just about everywhere else, means more bicycles and motorcycles hitting the roads. For drivers, that means we need to pay attention more to how we share the roads. Varsity Driving Academy teaches defensive driving and that defense is not only against other vehicles. We need to defend ourselves from getting in an accident with bikers of all kinds. Our best defense is knowing how we can be sharing the road with bikers.
Sharing the road with bikers means defensive driving to protect ourselves and the bikers on the roadways all across the country.
When it comes to sharing the road with bikers, drivers should always use caution. One of the most dangerous times for bikers is the same as the one for drivers, the intersection. Vehicles have the right to make a right turn at a stoplight or sign, sometimes, even when the light is red. However, when the light turns green, bikers have the right to go as well. It’s important for drivers to check their mirrors for bikers approaching in the bike lane before making any turn.
Even More Caution
Drivers can never have too much caution, especially when sharing the road with bikers. Bike lanes are becoming more and more prevalent in cities and towns all across the country. Which means, bikers are riding very closely to cars on the roadways. When passing a biker on the street use caution and pass slowly. The slower you go, the less damage done in the event of an accident when passing a biker.
Since bike lanes are becoming more common, it’s important to remember that bike lanes are for bikes. There are some occasions when vehicles have the right to enter a bike lane, like before making a right turn or entering a parking spot on the street. However, drivers should stay out of bike lanes during all other times.
One of the hardest aspects of driving is communication. We can’t communicate the normal ways with other drivers, pedestrians or bikers. However, acknowledging someone’s presence is really all we need to do. A Simple lock of the eyes can let a biker know that you see them and will do your part to prevent an accident. Look at them at intersections and use your hand to signal them to go or to wait.
Assuming is Dangerous
A biker may be outfitted in all the clothing you’ve seen professional bikers wear but that doesn’t mean they’re a pro. Even the most experienced riders can face some difficulty while riding on the roadways. Don’t assume that they are pros and know how to navigate any obstacle. Always be prepared to stop suddenly if they fall or swerve into your path.