Sharing the Road with Bicyclists & Pedestrians
- Scan the street for wheels and feet: Be especially careful to look for people walking and biking before turning at intersections and driveways.
- Yield to pedestrians: Pay attention to the pedestrian signal and give people walking the right-of-way.
- Double threat: Never pass another vehicle that has stopped or is slowing down for a pedestrian. Remember, you might not be able to see the pedestrian when you approach a stopped vehicle, so be aware.
- Watch for bikes: People riding bicycles have the right to be on the road (and are often prohibited from riding on sidewalks), so respect their right to be there.
- Passing safely: Stay at least 3 feet away from bicyclists (and other vulnerable road users, such as garbage collectors, police officers, and tow truck operators) when passing, and don’t return to the right until well clear of the person. If there isn’t enough room to safely pass in the same lane, you must use another lane or wait for a safe opportunity to pass. Do not pass a person on a bike and then immediately turn right.
- Avoid the “right hook”: Look for and yield to people biking on the right when turning right.
- Avoid the “left cross”: Look for and yield to people walking across the street and yield to oncoming people on bikes when turning left.
- Visibility: Look for bicyclists at night and watch for their reflectors or lights.
- Check blind spots: Watch for bicyclists coming from behind, especially before turning right.
- Doors are dangerous: Before opening your car door, look in your mirror and physically turn your body to make sure no bicyclists are coming. Use the “Dutch reach” method, which entails using your far hand to open the car door, causing you to swivel and look towards the rear of the vehicle to check for bikes and traffic.
Source: Impact Speed and a Pedestrian’s Risk of Severe Injury or Death. Brian Tefft, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2011