1. When making a right turn:
- A. Look for young cyclists who may be using the sidewalk and crosswalk.
- B. Check for pedestrians crossing the street.
- C. Check to see if there are cyclists behind or on your right that may be going straight.
- D. All of the above.
While it is not recommended, and even against the law in many states for adults and children to ride on the sidewalk, it is completely possible that cyclists will ride on the sidewalk.
Crosswalks are always a place and opportunity to Yield to Life. It is crucial to be mindful of cyclists traveling behind you. A bicyclist may well be to the right of you and planning to go straight at the same intersection. Do not speed ahead of the bicyclist thinking you can negotiate the turn before they reach your car. The cyclist may be going faster than you think and, as you slow to make the turn, the cyclist may not be able to avoid crashing into the passenger side of your vehicle.
2. Passing a cyclist is acceptable:
- A. Whenever you need to keep up your speed.
- B. When you are in a hurry.
- C. When you are sure that there is ample space between you and the cyclist and there are no blind spots or dangers by moving over to allow safe passage.
- D. When the bicyclist is going slower than you are.
Remember cyclists have equal rights to the road and should be given the same respect as any slow moving vehicle, i.e. a large trucks, farming vehicles, etc. You would not pass another car too closely and risk an accident - the same care, attention and respect must be given to cyclists' lives.
A cyclist may need to ride closer to the center of a lane to avoid road hazards. Waiting a few extra seconds for safe passage can save lives. Whenever you pass a cyclist too closely, you not only run the risk of hitting the cyclist, the draft from your car alone is enough to throw a cyclist off course and possibly off the bike.
3. You must be extra vigilant of cyclists when:
- A. Opening your car door after parking on the road.
- B. Backing in and out of driveway.
- C. Making left and right hand turns.
- D. All of the above.
While a cyclist may not be able to anticipate your door opening, you can easily and quickly look in your review mirror to make sure no cyclists are coming. Opening your door as a cyclist is approaching can lead to serious injuries for the cyclist.
Remember kids use sidewalks to ride and can approach very quickly. Whenever pulling in or out of driveways proceed slowly and with caution and be on the look out for bikes.
Be very careful when making a left turn as cyclists who are crossing straight through the same intersection in the opposite direction may be going faster than you realize. This is especially dangerous on a hill or mountain/canyon road when a cyclist is descending with great speed. If you see a cyclist approaching when preparing for a left hand turn, it may be to wait as it is easy to misjudge a cyclist's speed. Do not make left hand turns on canyon roads, on blind corners or curves where you cannot see what's in the distance.
4. When making a left turn:
- A. You can always be faster than a cyclist so you don't have to be so concerned about the potential cyclist approaching since a cyclist man power is no match for your horse power.
- B. Make sure you can see into the distance to make sure no motorists or cyclist are in a close proximity and never assume you can turn faster than an approaching cyclist.
- C. Just make sure no cars are approaching.
- D. It is safe to go when the light permits.
Left hand turns are a dangerous/life threatening situation for cyclists - especially when they are descending and going faster than motorists realize. Cyclists who are crossing straight through the same intersection in the opposite direction may be going faster than you realize. It is particularly dangerous on a descending slope, when cyclists pick up more speed.
5. A good response when you witness a cyclist making a traffic error
- A. Honk your horn.
- B. Hate all cyclists for the rest of your life.
- C. Realize that this individual made a mistake and not make blanket assumptions on the cycling community at large.
- D. Run them off the road to teach them a lesson about disrespect.
Tit for tat behavior is neither appropriate nor safe nor productive on the road and can have devastating and life-threatening consequences. Please do not view one cyclist's transgressions on the road as indication of the cycling community at large. After all, seeing one bad driver does not mean that all drivers are bad.
There are many campaigns and programs out there to help educate cyclists on the proper road rules and the majority of cyclists are law abiding individuals that are merely doing something positive for themselves, the environment and community. One cyclist's lapse of judgment, does not give you the right to run cyclists off the road or endanger their life. Please help us pave the way for civility on the road by exercising patience and understanding.
True or False
6. True or False: Cyclists are allowed to ride in the flow of traffic.
- True: If a cyclist is going as fast as traffic, it is o.k. for them to join in the flow. Also, a cyclist may have to join in if there is something on the right of the road obstructing the ability to ride to the right.
- False: This kind of honking is unnecessary, annoying for everyone in ear shot, and most importantly, dangerous. Honking at a cyclist can startle a cyclist and cause him/her to loose bearings. If you have to honk at a cyclist to warn of a looming danger, please do so at a respectful distance.
- True: Cyclists have the same right to the use the road as motorists. Accordingly, cyclists have the same responsibilities and must follow the same road rules as motorists including stopping at stop signs, obeying traffic lights, keeping a safe distance between other vehicles.
- False: Cyclists have a rightful place on the road and cyclists using their bike for transportation may be forced to use roads that do not have bike lanes for various reasons. Cyclists who are experienced and able to go the speed limit can join in the flow of traffic. Construction in the road or other debris on the side of the road may force cyclists closer into traffic. Also, cyclists may be making a left turn and thus be either in the left lane or making their way to the left lane. Remember the road belongs equally to the cyclist so be sensitive to cyclists rightful place alongside vehicles.
- False: To the contrary, cyclists are doing everyone a favor by reducing their carbon footprint, easing traffic tension, and making strides to relieve our national health crises.