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    Sharing the Road: 4 Tips for Drivers and Bicyclists

    Cycling to work

    More and more individuals are beginning to find their exercise each day by getting on their bicycles. In addition, people are also beginning to use their bicycles as a means of commuting. Between 2006 and 2014, the number of bike commuters doubled, which has a direct impact on the driving habits of drivers.

    The trouble comes in when drivers and bicyclists fail to have the knowledge necessary to properly share the road together, as a dangerous situation can ensue on the road. With that said, it can be particularly beneficial for everyone to learn a few things before getting out on the road. If you do find yourself in an accident, be sure to call your insurance agent right away.

    1. Understand That Bicyclists Have Similar Rights to Drivers

    When it comes to bicyclists and drivers, both follow very similar rules. According to the League of American Bicyclists, both are required to follow the same traffic rules. For example, both bicyclists and drivers must ride and drive on the right side of the road and yield to crossing traffic at an intersection. In addition, both must follow the rules of street markings, signals, and signs.

    2. Learn Hand Signals Bicyclists Use

    When drivers are going to make a left- or right-hand turn, it is required by law to use their blinkers. For bicyclists, they are required to make a hand signal. This is important because it informs others about their next move.

    These signals help to keep everyone on the road safer. However, if you are unfamiliar with these signals, as a driver or a bicyclist, then it could result in a collision. Therefore, it is important for drivers to take the time to educate themselves on the hand signals that bicyclists often use and for bicyclists to learn the hand signals that they should be using to communicate to drivers about the moves they will be making next.

    According to the League of American Bicyclists, aside from when making a left- or right-hand turn, the most common signals that bicyclists use are when they slow down or come to a stop.

    3. Avoid Utilizing Electronics When Riding or Driving

    A very important rule that both drivers and cyclists should always follow when driving or riding on the road is to avoid using electronics. It is crucial that you are always fully aware of all of your surroundings. This includes being able to see and hear anything and everything, including obstacles.

    If a danger is about to be present itself in front of you, you need to be able to see and/or hear it. If you have headphones in your ears that are connected to your mobile or MP3 device, you will be unable to concentrate on your surroundings, which increases the risk of an unnecessary collision.

    4. Give Space When Overtaking a Bicycle

    When drivers decide that they are going to pass a bicycle on the road, it is imperative that they provide ample space for themselves to perform such an action. In fact, they should perform this action as if they were overtaking a standard vehicle rather than a bicycle.

    In other words, a driver should only pass a bicycle when it is 100 percent safe to move their vehicle into the adjacent lane. In doing so, this will help in the prevention of unnecessary swipes and crashes.

    The aforementioned four tips will help drivers and bicyclists safely share the road together. However, these tips are by no means a substitute for proper automobile insurance. To ensure that you have the best possible coverage for your individual situation, contact Rowell Insurance Agency to discuss your needs with an insurance agent and obtain a free insurance quote.