September .25 .2013

Bike Safety for Drivers

Brace yourself for carmageddon.

Downtown Vancouver is expected to face serious traffic congestion as roadwork ramps up over the busy Fall season. To avoid the gridlock, some are choosing bike over car to get from A to B.

The spike in bikes on our roads has prompted the CAA to create a website that focuses on bike safety for drivers.

A few tips from the site:

  • Give cyclists plenty of room on wet roads. Slow down. Change lanes when passing.
  • Plan turns and lane changes well in advance. Signal your intentions early so a cyclist can see what you are planning to do.
  • Be aware of cyclist routes.
  • Never use your horn when passing a cyclist unless absolutely necessary.
  • Leave lots of room when passing a cyclist
  • Always check for cyclists prior to left or right turns.
  • Never follow too closely. Cyclists are capable of stopping quickly, so keep at least a 3-4 second following distance.
  • Use extra caution in parking lots, playground zones, and school areas. Scan around parked vehicles for cyclists.
  • Check your mirrors every five to eight seconds to keep aware of your surroundings.

CAA also lists some of the most common vehicle-bike collisions:

When turning right, check the curb lane and shoulder check on your right to ensure there are no cyclists that you may cut off.

When turning left, look ahead for any oncoming vehicle or cyclists. Check the crosswalk for pedestrians. When turning left, look ahead for any oncoming vehicle or cyclists. Check the crosswalk for pedestrians.

passing Cyclists need a meter on either side as a safety zone. Drivers should not pass too close, and should always change lanes to pass.

opendoor Drivers parked must be careful when opening doors. Be on the lookout for cyclists and pedestrians. Always mirror and shoulder check before opening your door.

Be sure to take the CAA's bike safety quiz once you've reviewed the information on their site. Keep bike safety on your mind as the roads get busier and the days get dark and wet. It could save a life.

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