Edmunds.com Spells Out Rules of the Road for Drivers and Bicyclists
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — March 20, 2012 — With spring already upon us, drivers can soon expect to find an influx of bicyclists sharing the road. But unless both motorists and bicyclists understand their responsibilities, it could be a dangerous co-existence. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource in automotive information, advises two-wheelers and four-wheelers on ways to safely share the road with Ten Rules for Drivers and Ten Rules for Bicyclists.
"A lot of people think that the onus is on drivers to keep everyone safe on the roadways, but bicyclists certainly have responsibilities, too," says Edmunds.com Features Editor Carroll Lachnit. "Drivers need to remember that a bicycle should be treated just like any other vehicle. Bicyclists need to know that they, too, are subject to traffic laws."
Other key rules that drivers should specifically adhere to include:
- Adjust That Attitude: Drivers should think of bicyclists as equals, just as entitled to the roadway as drivers are.
- Spare Them the Right Hook: Intersections are venues for serious car-cycle collisions. Drivers making right turns, especially, should watch out for cyclists. A cyclist may be a little behind and to the right of you, and may be planning to ride straight ahead
- Give Cyclists 3 Feet of Clearance: Twenty states have now passed laws requiring motorists to give bicycles on the roadway about 3 feet of space. The 3-foot rule helps drivers by giving them a concrete frame of reference, he says.
- Follow the Rules of the Road — All of Them: Bicyclists must stop for traffic signals and stop signs and should ride with the flow of traffic. They should also remember they can be held liable in traffic mishaps.
- Be Predictable: Many car-bike collisions occur when a bicyclist does something the motorist doesn't expect, such as darting up to an intersection and going straight when it looked to the driver as if the cyclist would turn right. Cyclists should indicate their intent to stop by putting their left arm out and down, palm to the rear. To signal a turn, cyclists should extend their left or right arm straight out.
- Be Aware of Common Hazards: Some veteran bicyclists know all too well about "being doored." That's what happens when a cyclist is pedaling along, doesn't notice a motorist getting out of a parked car, and is thrown, sometimes violently, when he or she hits the opening door. Experts suggest riding a little to the left of parked cars (that three feet rule helps), as well as slowing down and keeping an eye out for drivers who may still be in cars.
Bicyclists, meanwhile, should most pay attention to the following rules of thumb:
Edmunds.com offers several safety advice articles for all aspects of automotive transportation — from safely installing child car seats, to dog-safe driving. For more, visit Edmunds.com's Car Safety page.
About Edmunds.com, Inc. (http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/index.html)
Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its acclaimed mobile site, Edmunds.com Android App and five-star Edmunds iPhone and iPad apps make car pricing and other research tools available for car shoppers at dealerships and on the go. Its automotive enthusiast web site, InsideLine.com, is the most-read car publication of its kind. Its highly regarded mobile site and iPhone app features the wireless Web's most comprehensive gallery of automotive photos and videos. Edmunds.com Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit. Follow Edmunds.com on Twitter@edmunds and fan Edmunds.com on Facebook.