10 Rules of the Road for Bicyclists and Motorists Alike

Sometimes things can get a little tense when motorists and bicyclists are sharing the road. Cooler heads will always prevail when both drivers and riders understand some important  rules and safety tips. Putting yourself in the other seat can save a lot of headaches, frustration and accidents.

Here are 10 things bicyclists can do and 10 things motorists can do to share the road better.

10 Tips for Bicyclists

1. Know your signs. Use proper bicycle hand signals and respect the signs and traffic signals.

2. Ride in the same direction as traffic. Not only is it the law, it’s quite dangerous to ride any other way.

3. Hands-on riding. Keep both hands on the handlebars. One- or no-hand riding means you may not have enough time to brake, especially in wet weather.

4. Keep your bike safe. It’s important to have the proper safety equipment, including bells, mirrors, fenders and a light if riding at night.

5. Watch for hazards. Sewer grates, manhole covers, oily pavement and potholes can cause serious injury to you … and your bike.

6, Streets can be ruff. Dogs can be problematic. Ignoring them, shouting a loud "No!" or dismounting and squirting them with water are all practical deterrents.

7. Make it personal. Try to make eye contact with a driver to make sure they see you.

8. Maintain the equipment. Brakes, tires should all be in top shape.

9. A little to the left. There are two ways to turn left. The first is to move to the left side of the turning lane. The other is to ride through an intersection, dismount, and cross in a crosswalk.

10. Acknowledge courtesy. When a car driver respects your rights and is careful, a wave or a nod is appreciated.

10 Tips for Motorists

1. It’s their road too. Bicyclists have as much right to the roadway as you do.

2. Leave some room. It’s advisable to leave at least three feet of width when passing a bicyclist.

3. What’s behind that door. Drivers and passengers alive should look behind them, especially when getting out on the traffic side, for bicyclists and cars.

4. Swerves happen. A bicyclist may need to swerve suddenly to avoid an opening car door or hazard.

5. A little to the left. See the above ways bicyclists can turn left. Don’t get upset at a bike in the left part of the lane.

6. Easy on the horn. Unless absolutely necessary, don’t use your horn. It may startle a bicyclist.

7. Accidents are harmful. Remember that a collision with a bicycle is likely to cause serious injury.

8. A little to the right. When turning right, be sure to check to see if bicyclists are coming.

9. Take your time. Bicyclists aren’t as fast as you. Let them make that turn.

10. Acknowledge courtesy. When a bicyclist follows the rules of the road, a wave can go a long way.

Despite following all of these safety tips, accidents happen. To be sure you’re covered, contact the Paragon Independent Insurance Agency today.