Five Smart Tips for Car Drivers to Share the Road with Pedestrians and Cyclists
The national figures on accidents happening between automobiles, cyclists and pedestrians are stern. According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of fatalities among cyclists continues to rise along with figures for pedestrians since 2013.
There is a clear conclusion to this. Although pedestrians and cyclists have to exercise caution in how they interact with vehicles, drivers need tip on how they share the road with pedestrians and cyclists in order to increase their safe driving practices with regards to other road users.
Realize the Vulnerability of Pedestrians and Cyclists
Realize that you are inside a big vehicle. Cyclists are on a flimsy ride and open to being thrown from the bike and get injured. Even if cyclists have a helmet on, their driving situation is no match to yours. Also, pedestrians are even more vulnerable as they don’t wear any protective gear.
Many drivers may not fully concentrate on pedestrians or cyclists because they focus on cars. Cyclists can be seen as background distractions on the road sides. Pedestrians might be seen as impediments to the flowing traffic. However, understand that both of these road users have as much right to be on the road as you.
Be a Defensive Driver
Just like you, pedestrians and cyclists have road rules to follow. For instance, cyclists must ride in the same direction as the traffic and follow signals. Pedestrians can only cross after following a designated signal or after waiting a cross-walk.
But such rules are not followed at all times. And if you come across with pedestrians or cyclists who don’t follow, never insist on your rights of way. As a defensive driver, it is best to yield for them. You will want to avoid collision with a more vulnerable road user.
Never Drink and Drive
NHTSA says over a third of fatal collisions between a car and cyclist-driver and almost half of fatal collisions between car drivers and pedestrians involved alcohol. In fact, drunk driving can get you into trouble with a traffic officer who is out there looking for possible offenders.
Follow Road Sharing Tips
- With Cyclists
- Be watchful of right turns. Collisions are quite common in right turns. It is likely that a bicyclist will not notice your signal to turn right. This is possible when he is slightly behind you that can result in the cyclist driving right into you while you begin to turn. This scenario requires defensive driving.
- Watch Out at Left Turns. In terms of left turns, you may think that you have lots of time before a bicycle could hit your car. Bicycles tend to be move fast going at least 20 mph. Ensure that you really have enough time to complete your left turns.
- Be three feet away from a bicycle. This makes it safer for you all the way round. Almost all states mandate this.
- Look before opening the door. Avoid opening a door into a cyclist’s path.
- With Pedestrians
- Obey speed limits
- Look for pedestrians while you enter crosswalk areas or intersections, particularly when it’s dark.
- Obey traffic signals and stop signs
- Check before you enter or exist driveways
Traffic safety is the responsibility of all road users. Following the tips above will make sure that you and other users of the road are safe while being out there. If you want to improve your driving ability and skills for a safer driving, enroll in an online traffic school in San Juan Capistrano, CA like AODD’s Online Traffic School.