Motorists and bicyclists share the roads and must take responsibility for the safety of one another. When either party fails to exercise proper road safety, the bicyclist is the one who is much more likely to suffer catastrophic personal injury in an accident.
While cyclists must do their part to maintain safe road conditions, there are certain behaviors that drivers should avoid to help guarantee the well-being of bikers, pedestrians, and everyone else on the road.
1. Unsafe behavior at traffic lights
Bicycle-related car accidents can often occur because of negligent behavior at traffic stops. Running a red light can result in a collision with a bicyclist who has the right-of-way at the crossing. Turning at a green light without checking for bicycles and pedestrians is another unsafe behavior.
2. Reckless lane changes
Merging across lanes without a turn signal and excessively weaving through traffic can create unsafe conditions for everyone, especially bicyclists. Motorists should always be absolutely sure that no vehicles or bicycles are in the way before performing a lane change, and avoid passing too close to other vehicles.
3. Distracted driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 3,142 deaths in 2020 as a result of distracted driving. The ongoing threat of distractions behind the wheel is especially perilous for bicyclists who go more easily unnoticed in a vehicle’s blind spots.
Bicyclists have a responsibility to observe safety guidelines on the road and take measures to be as visible as possible. However, motorists also have an important responsibility to remain vigilant and aware while behind the wheel.