8 Ways a Person in a Car Can Make Cycling Safer
As cycling becomes an increasingly popular sport in your city, the responsibility to keep everyone safe belongs to everyone – the cyclists themselves as well drivers they share the roads with. For the times when you are moving throughout town using a gas pedal instead of a bike pedal, make sure you follow these safety tips. When you ride a bike yourself, you will appreciate vehicle drivers doing the same for you!
As cycling becomes an increasingly popular sport in the city, the responsibility to keep everyone safe belongs to everyone – the cyclists themselves as well drivers they share the roads with. For the times when you are moving throughout town using a gas pedal instead of a bike pedal, make sure you follow these safety tips. When you ride a bike yourself, you will appreciate vehicle drivers doing the same for you!
1. PROTECT THE LITTLE GUY Even the smallest car is much bigger and heavier than a bicycle, plus cars offer protection on all sides. When you pass a bike in your vehicle, remember that they are in a very vulnerable position.
2. BIKES FOLLOW THE SAME RULES AS CARS WHEN ON ROADWAYS They ride in the same direction as vehicles and must obey traffic signs and signals. Bikes use the slowest lane of traffic (riding on the shoulder whenever possible) and will shift lanes to make a turn. It may help to think of them as very slow cars! Understanding their behavior makes it easier to be safe when driving along side of them.
3. CYCLISTS USE HAND SIGNALES TO SUBSTITUTE FOR VEHICLE LIGHTS Extending an arm straight to the side indicates a turn in that direction. Bending at the elbow and pointing up means they are turning to the opposite side. For example, a left arm straight out means left turn, and a left arm bent up to 90° means right turn. When a cyclist bends the arm downward, it is the equivalent of a brake light, meaning that they are slowing or stopping.
4. BE ESPECIALLY AWARE AT INTERSECTIONS At a stop sign, if they arrive before you, they have the right to move first. When they make a left turn (in countries that drive on the right side), they will cross lanes of traffic to reach the left-most lane. At intersections where you need to make a right turn, always use your signal! This allows the biker to heed your vehicle instead of slamming into your passenger side as you move through the intersection.
5. GIVE 1M CLEARANCE AROUND CYCLISTS If you can afford to give more space, such as shifting to a middle lane, this is an even safer way of sharing the street.
6. OVERTAKING A CYCLIST CAN BE DANGEROUS If you cannot leave enough room on the side, overtaking a cyclist is a very risk decision. This space lets cyclists have the room they need to manouever around an unpredicted obstacle, such as a sewer grate or piece of litter, and lets everyone on the road have ease of mind.
7. PRETEND CYCLISTS ARE VEHICLES WHEN YOU OVERTAKE THEM Avoid action in any circumstance where you would not overtake a car. This includes when traffic is oncoming, around blind curves or approaching intersections where you intend to turn.
8. GIVE BIKES A HEAD START AT TRAFFIC LIGHTS Whether they move directly in front of your car (which is appropriate to do in most areas) or move alongside you, always allow them to pass through the intersection and position themselves in their new traffic lane before you accelerate.
Riding a bike is a healthy activity that people of all ages and cultures enjoy. It has many benefits, including improved cardiovascular capacity, increased lower body strength and releasing stress. After cycling lessons people feel more confident to ride around the city, and giving them a safe way to do this is something we can all be part of.
You can learn to cycle and get expert coaching that let you be a better bike rider through a good sport club near you. If you are in Abu Dhabi, the best cycling coaches are found at ZSC Academy, where they are internationally certified and experienced to help kids and adults learn to ride a bike.
These rules are written based on countries that drive on the right side of the road. If you live in a place where driving is on the left side, make sure you adjust these rules to be safe.