You may not realise this, but cyclists and drivers have the same responsibilities on the road and abide by the same road rules. They have just as much right to be on the road as drivers do. As more and more people jump on their bikes as a way of commuting, it is important to be aware of cyclists when you are behind the wheel.
Some tips for safe driving around cyclists:
- Check your rear and side-view mirrors carefully before opening your car door into the path of bike riders. ‘Car dooring’s’ can cause serious injury or even death and are a really common cause of accidents.
- Always be aware that cyclists may be around and keep an eye on the road. Bikes can be really hard to see, especially at night. Check your blind spots and take extra care.
- When you overtake cyclists leave a safe amount of space: at least one metre to the side in a 50 km/hr zone, and if you are going faster, increase this distance – play it safe.
- You must give way to cyclists at intersections, the same as you would another car.
- Don’t underestimate the speed of cyclists, they can travel just as fast or even faster than a car, especially when traffic is moving slowly. Don’t cut them off, it takes longer for bikes to stop than a car at the same speed.
- Keep an eye out for kids on bikes, they tend to be unpredictable. Be prepared to slow down and even stop.
- Cyclists can legally ride two abreast. Be patient and overtake only when it’s safe to do so.
- Do not drive, stop or park in a bicycle lane. You can cross a bike lane to make a left turn, enter a driveway or to park in a designated parking spot.