Share the Road
By Erin Reidman – CC’s Staff
Share The Road
Summers in BisMan don’t seem to last long enough and everyone is trying to get in as much outdoor time as possible while we can. There is an increase in cycling activity during the relatively short season and it’s important that drivers are aware of road safety rules.
The statistics on bicycling safety are not stellar. In the U.S., 840 cyclists were killed in 2016 in motor vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). Especially with the increase in distractions on the road, it is essential that both drivers and cyclists are aware of best practice.
We are fortunate to have bicycle friendly roads in our community. In 2016, Mayor Seminary declared BisMan a bicycle friendly community. These bike lanes are meant to create a safe place to allow 2-wheel, non-motorized transportation options.
• Be aware. This seems like an obvious, but unfortunately it seems drivers are more and more distracted with the available technologies that tempt use while driving. It only takes a millisecond to cause an accident. Always be aware of what is going on in your surroundings.
• Share the road. Don’t assume the cyclist is aware of you (even though they very likely are!)
• Pass bicyclists with care. Treat bicyclists as you would a slow-moving car. Don’t tailgate; wait until traffic conditions allow you to safely pass the bicyclist.
• Reduce speed when passing bicyclists and allow at least 3 feet of passing space.
• Check over your shoulder after passing a bicyclist before moving back into the lane.
• Do not park in the bike lanes. Motorists may make turns across a bicycle lane to enter a parking space or to enter a drive-way, etc., as long as they signal their intention and yield to bicyclists.
• Watch for bicyclists at all times. Watch for cyclists when opening your car door if you are within the area of a bicycle lane
• Bicycles are vehicles and bicyclists may take the entire lane.
• Scan for bicyclists in traffic and give them the appropriate right-of-way.
• Allow extra time for bicyclists to cross intersections.
• Recognize hazards that bicyclists may face and give them space to maneuver.
• Don’t honk your horn in close proximity to bicyclists; this behavior often startles them and could cause them to crash.
When bike lanes aren’t an option
Cyclists on these roads often understand the rules. They are the same as with any bicycle lane. Cyclists ride with the flow of traffic and follow all traffic rules. As a driver, show respect and share the road. This is crucial on roads with narrow shoulders, such as Hwy 1804. Wait for a safe time to allow room for the cyclist, pass with care at slow speeds.
Cyclists: Be seen, be heard, be safe. Also it should go without saying that helmets are a necessity. You only get one brain.
Use the opportunity the BisMan community offers and get out and practice safe biking. Summers are short and the opportunity for the extra vitamin D and exercise won’t last long. Ride strong!
Post Author: Erin Reidman
Erin is a DPT, wife, and mom of two wild boys. When not at work, you can find Erin teaching fitness classes at the YMCA or daydreaming of the next mountain biking/rock climbing adventure with her main squeeze