Each new season brings different things drivers need to be aware of and to watch out for to ensure safety for themselves and others on the road.
As the warmer weather is approaching, drivers will begin to notice more and more cyclists on the roads. To ensure everyone's safety drivers need to ensure they are following the rules of the road and driving cautiously around cyclists to ensure everyone has a safe trip. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind while driving this summer:
Safety Tips For Sharing the Road with Cyclists
Be Cautious While Turning
When turning right, a bicycle could be coming up on your right side in the bike line or on the side of the road without you realizing it. As they are travelling forward and you are turning right, cutting off their lane, this could result in a collision. Whether you have noticed a cyclist on the road or not, you need to check your blind spots before every single turn you make while driving. This will help prevent you from turning right into a cyclist.
When turning left at an intersection, you need to treat oncoming cyclists just as you would treat oncoming traffic. They have the right of way and you need to let them pass before you make a left turn. Intersections are often busy so watching out for pedestrians and cyclists is essential at every intersection.
Stay Out of Bike Lanes
Bike Lanes are reserved specifically for bicycles. If you need to pull off to the side of the road, attempt to do so in an area without bike lanes.
The only times you should be passing through a bike line is when you are entering or exiting a driveway or making a right turn. During these moments, you need to be extra cautious of your surroundings to ensure there are no cyclists near you.
Watch for Hand Signals from Cyclists
Often cyclists will signal that they are going to turn right by extending their right arm out or turning their right arm up at a 90-degree angle. A left arm that is extended signals a left turn. To signal that they will be stopping, cyclists often extend their left arm out and down at a 90-degree angle.
Give Extra Space When Possible
When bikes are riding beside you or in front of you, allow as much room as you possibly can. If you are passing a cyclist, it is required by law in Ontario to leave at least one meter between your vehicle and the cyclist.
Control Your Speed
When passing cyclists, extra space is important and so is your speed. Pass at a slow speed.
Use Caution When Your Vehicle is Parked
“Dooring” a cyclist is when your car is parked, and you open the door as a cyclist is riding past. This results in them being hit by the door. You can avoid dooring a cyclist by paying attention to your surroundings even after you have stopped driving. Check to ensure the area around you is clear before you open your car door.
Following these safety tips for sharing the road with bicycles is essential to protecting the cyclists and yourself.
You can also help protect yourself by contacting your Insurance Broker to confirm if you have proper liability coverage in your auto insurance policy. Liability coverage helps to protect you if you are at fault in an accident. Accidents may happen, so protect yourself and be sure you are covered this summer!
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Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended as professional insurance advice. The coverage, terms, and conditions of each insurance policy are unique and subject to individual circumstances. The information provided does not guarantee the availability or suitability of any insurance policy for your specific needs. You should not rely on the information in the blog as an alternative to professional advice from your insurance broker or insurance company. If you have any specific questions about any insurance matter, please consult a licensed insurance broker for personalized advice and guidance.