Ways Motorists Can Improve Bicyclist Safety
Bicyclists are more vulnerable road users than motorists. They are smaller, quieter and have no “crumple zone”. A small mistake by a motorist can result in serious injury or death to a cyclist. Motorists must respect the rights of other road users, including bicyclists.
Pass with Care
- Respect bicyclists as legal road users with the same rules and responsibilities as motorists. Drive courteously and with tolerance. That bicyclist is your neighbour and you are sharing the road.
- Treat a bicyclist as you would any slow moving vehicle. Pass only when the road ahead is clear.
- Slow down when passing, especially if the road is narrow.
- Give at least one metre of space between you and a bicyclist when passing.
- Check over your shoulder before moving back into your travel lane to make sure you have left enough space.
Yield to Bicyclists
- When turning left, yield to oncoming bicyclists. Experienced bicyclists can travel 30 to 40 km/hr and can be moving faster than you think.
- Do not make a right hand turn in front of bicyclists. Assume they are travelling through unless they signal otherwise.
Watch for Bicyclists
- Expect to see bicyclists on roads. Bicyclists may ride one metre from the road edge, but can occupy any part of a lane if safety warrants, e.g. to avoid obstacles, to turn left, or if the lane isn’t wide enough for a motorist to safely pass.
- Always check your blind spot. A bicyclist could be there.
- Check for bicyclists before opening your car door.
- Children on bicycles are often unpredictable.
- Expect the unexpected and drive with caution.
Some bicyclists appreciate communication from approaching vehicles. A quick beep of your horn will alert bicyclists that you are approaching them from behind. Do not honk your horn for an extended period – it can startle bicyclists and cause them to swerve into traffic.