Tips for drivers to help keep bicyclists safe

Like in many major cities, the traffic in Phoenix can be loud, fast and overwhelming. When you are focusing on driving alongside large trucks and semis, it can sometimes be difficult to notice when a cyclist is in your corner. Making one poor judgment call on the road can quickly lead to an unnecessary collision.

Although accidents may happen unexpectedly, many collisions are the result of negligent driving or cycling. There are habits you can practice as a driver to help keep the road safe for both you and any cyclists you encounter. Keep in mind the following tips the next time you are on the road:

  • Keep an eye out when opening your door: When you are parked on the side of a street, always check your blind spots and look behind you before opening your door. This may help prevent oncoming cyclists from riding directly into your door, potentially injuring themselves.
  • Give cyclists three feet of room: Drivers are legally required to give cyclists three feet of room when passing them. If a cyclist is riding in the shoulder, make sure you are not driving unnecessarily close to them so that he or she does not end up getting pushed to the side of the road. Similarly, do not unnecessarily drive in a bike lane so that cyclists can take advantage of their designated space.
  • Signal in advance and check your blind spots: Make sure you signal early enough before turning or changing lanes so that you can give any oncoming cyclists time to slow down and avoid colliding with you. Do not forget to check your blind spots either.

Taking care of your own habits can go a long way

Both cyclists and drivers can make poor judgment calls on the road and find themselves in accidents that could have been avoided. While you may not be able to control the traffic around you, ensuring that you practice safe driving habits can help minimize the chances of crashing into a bicycle.

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  • United States District Court | District Of Arizona
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