The Law Offices OfPhilip M. Tobin

Tips on sharing the road with bicyclists

In California, it's not uncommon for drivers to encounter bicyclists on the road. Due to lack of protection, people riding bikes have a greater risk of sustaining a serious injury should they be involved in a crash. That's why drivers must take certain steps, which will preserve the safety of everyone. The following are just a few tips on how you can safely the share the road with bicyclists.

The National Highway Traffic Administration explains that bike riders are subject to the same rules and regulations as drivers. As a result, motorists are best served by treating bicycles as they would any other vehicle. This entails giving them the right-of-way as appropriate and only passing when it's safe to do so. Also, try to remain aware of their presence, especially when driving in areas with a high volume of bicyclists and foot traffic.

It's recommended that you maintain a safe distance from bicycles. You should keep in mind approximately three to four feet between your car and the bicyclist at all times. In the event that the rider makes an unexpected maneuver you want to rest assured that you have ample time to react. Decreasing speed is also suggested, which can prevent serious injuries in the event of a crash.

You should also be aware of the common hand signals bicyclists use. A left turn is often indicated by an outstretched arm, while a right turn is signaled by bending one's arm at the elbow. The same gesture is used when a rider is slowing down or stopping, but in this case the hand would be facing down towards the ground.  

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