Share the Road to Prevent Accidents

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,216
    Rhonda Shah from AAA and Andy Clark from the League of American Bicyclists discuss what sharing the road means for bicyclists and motorists.

    Rhonda Shah: Hi! I'm Rhonda Shah with AAA.

    Andy Clarke: And I'm Andy Clarke with the League of American Bicyclists.

    Rhonda Shah: And today we're going to give you some tips about sharing the road. So Andy, what does sharing the road mean for bicyclists?

    Andy Clarke: Well, bicyclists are legal drivers of vehicles with laws and regulations established for their use, yet a lot of cyclists feel that they're not respected by motorist. So sharing the road means mutual respect, which can be promoted by public information, motorist education programs, and ultimately by legal measures.

    Rhonda Shah: And that's why at AAA we're so pleased to be working with the league on share the road messaging. Driving on roads requires care and courtesy, whether you're driving a car or a bike.

    Andy Clarke: Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, including the right to ride in the traffic lane. When a road is too narrow for cars and bikes to ride safely side-by-side, bicycles should take the travel lane, which means riding in or near the center of the lane.

    Rhonda Shah: So here are some tips for motorists. Stay alert, avoid all distractions while driving. Yield to bicyclists when turning. In bad weather, give bicyclists extra passing room, just as you would other motorists. Make a visual check for bikes by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic.

    Slow down and give at least three feet of clearing when passing. Reduce your speed when passing bikes, especially when the road is narrow. And never honk your horn at a bicyclist; it can cause them to swerve into traffic or off of the roadway and crash.

    Always check for bicyclists before opening your car door. And don't forget that children on bikes are often very unpredictable, expect the unexpected. Now Andy, how about some tips for bicyclists?

    Andy Clark: Well, bicyclists should ride on the roadway or shared pathways, rather than on sidewalks. Follow the same rules of the road as other roadway users, including riding in the same direction as traffic and following all the same traffic signs and signals.

    Signal all your turns. Wear a helmet every time you ride. Be visible, wearing bright colors during the day, reflective gear in low light conditions, and use head and tail lights when riding at night. Remember that respect is a two-way street. Show motorists the same courtesy you expect from them.

    Rhonda Shah: Those are all great tips. Remember, same rules same rights.

    Andy Clark: Share the road, it could save a life.