Top 8 Mistakes Drivers Make Around Bikers
Many people use bike riding as a form of transportation, exercise, or as a hobby. In most countries around the world, people choose biking as a part of their daily routine. Because many ride bikes on busy city streets, or throughout active residential areas, there must be communication between bikers and drivers to ensure safety for all parties. Common reason for biking accidents include opposition to following road rules, lack of communication between bikers and drivers, faulty road conditions, or poorly maintained bikes or automobiles. In order to prevent accidents between bike riders and drivers, the following 8 mistakes drivers make around bikers should be avoided.
Mistake #1: Opening Car Door to Traffic
Throughout busy city streets, many drivers make the dangerous mistake of opening their car doors in the flow of traffic. This causes major danger to bikers, as they may ride directly into the car door, or try to swerve away from the door, into the line of traffic. If you are driving, be aware of opening your car door into the path of oncoming bikers.
Mistake #2: Driving Too Closely to Bikers
Different states hold different laws about the proper distance between bikers and car drivers. Some states require 3 feet of clearance, separating bikers and drivers. Some cars drive too closely to bikers, potentially threatening the biker, if the driver assumes the biker is taking up too much space. This may present new risks for the biker, if a pothole, rock, or poorly maintained road threatens the safety of the biker. If a road hazard is presented, there must be enough room for the biker to swerve away from the hazard and cars.
Mistake #3: Turning Right In Front of Bikers
Bikers are typically required to ride on the right side of the road. Because of this, many times bikers are riding in the blind spot of drivers turning right. If a driver is making a right hand turn, the vehicle may turn directly into bikers riding in the established bike lane. As a driver, ensure no bikers are nearby when making a right hand turn.
Mistake #4: Occupying a Bike Lane
Many drivers make the mistake of parking their vacant vehicles in bike lanes. Even when drivers park in bike lanes temporarily, this causes bike riders to ride in the way of traffic, increasing the chance of an accident. As a rule of thumb, only park in the proper parking spots to avoid biker collisions.
Mistake #5: Yelling at Bikers
In some circumstances, drivers who feel bikers are in the wrong may yell at bikers. However, yelling at bikers is strongly discouraged, as it distracts car drivers, passengers, and cyclists. In addition to becoming a distraction, yelling at bikers may cause a situation to escalate, which may present a more dangerous situation that is avoidable otherwise. Attempt to communicate clearly and respectfully with bikers, rather than yelling and causing a potential accident.
Mistake #6: Honking
Hoking unnecessarily may cause major risk to drivers and bikers alike. Honking at bikers will cause distraction among bikers and drivers, and interrupts the concentration of all parties on the road. Only honk if there is a legitimate reason, to prevent bikers from coming distracted and potentially causing an accident.
Mistake #7: Splashing Riders
In the event that inclement weather brings excessive rain or snow, drivers are urged to not splash bike riders. Aside from being non-courteous to bikers, splashing bikers can pose major danger. Splashing water can knock a biker off of course, and may temporarily blind them if water splashes in their eye, on their face, and on other body parts. Avoid splashing bike riders with puddles as you drive past.
Mistake #8: Assuming Bikers will Run Red Lights and Stop Signs
If drivers assume that bikers will run red lights and stop signs, this may generate the risk of an accident. Drivers and bikers should both follow the rules of the road, and communicate movements clearly to one another to ensure all parties are aware of the other’s next move.
Biking is a primary form of transportation and exercise. Whether bikers are riding up a mountain, throughout a suburban neighborhood, or on bustling city streets, various safety measures should be followed to promote safety. The top 8 mistakes that drivers make around bikers are opening car doors to traffic, driving too close to bikers, turning right in front of bikers, occupying bike lanes, yelling, honking, splashing, and assuming bikers will run red lights and stop signs. Whether you are a biker or a driver, follow rules of the road, and communicate with others on the road. In the event that you become involved in a biking accident, seek the proper medical care and dial 911 immediately. Avoid these 8 common mistakes to promote safety, and to prevent accidents from occurring within your neighborhood and city streets.
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