What You Should Know About Sharing a Road with Bicycles

When you're driving around in your car, you have to focus on cars, signs, signals, and even pedestrians. But one thing you need to be sure to watch for is bicyclists. They may not always follow traffic laws and can sneak into your blind spots. Since 966 cyclists died in traffic-related incidents in 2021, be on the lookout for them at all times.

What to Expect When Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

More and more people are riding bikes these days. Both you and the biker need to know what to do in all situations to avoid an accident, which can easily be fatal for the cyclist.

What Drivers Need to Know

Drivers should always follow these rules when cyclists are present:

What Cyclists Need to Know

Cyclists also need to follow all of the rules of the road to ensure their safety.

  • Come to a complete stop at stop signs or red lights. It may be tempting to coast through if there aren't any cars present, but it can become a bad habit.

  • Be predictable. Don't weave in between cars or anything else drivers aren't prepared for. 

  • If you ride at dusk or dawn, you need a headlight on the front of your bike and a red reflector on the back. Make sure you're as visible as possible to motorists in these low-light conditions.

  • Wear a helmet! Even though it's only required in 22 states, wearing one can reduce the chances of a traumatic head injury if you're in an accident.

  • If a lane is wide enough to fit both a car and a bike, the biker should stay to the right side of the lane so a car can safely pass. If the lane is narrow, the biker has full rights to ride in the center of the lane. 

What Are Some Common Biking Misconceptions?

There are a few misconceptions floating around regarding bikes that need clearing up for both drivers and riders.

  • Bikes should stay on the sidewalk — This usually isn't a great idea. A bike is dangerous to pedestrians, especially the elderly.

  • Bikes cause traffic delays — While it may seem like following a bike is holding you back, it usually takes just a few seconds before you can safely pass them.

  • Bikers break traffic laws — Sure, there are some bikers who pay no regard for traffic laws, but the same could easily be said about drivers, who can cause even more damage by breaking laws with a car.

Keep Bicyclists Safe by Driving Safely

If you don't ride a bike too often, you might not know the dangers cyclists face when riding in or around traffic. But now that you know what to expect when you're sharing the road, it can make their lives safe and easier. Another way to learn additional traffic rules to keep everyone safe on the road is by signing up for a driver's ed course at DriversEd.com. You'll learn everything you need to know about operating a vehicle safely all from the comfort of your own home.

Take your Traffic School or Defensive Driving Course Online Today!

Learn More

Updated 6/1/23