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How can I safely share the road with cyclists?

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As a California driver, you may find yourself frequently sharing the road with cyclists. This can be the cause of much stress for many motorists, especially when cyclists fail to follow pertinent traffic laws. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of a serious accident occurring when driving with cyclists.  

Edmunds.com list some important safe driving tips for sharing the road, such as providing enough space between your vehicle and cyclists. Many states (including California) have even employed legislation that requires drivers to allow 3-feet of space between themselves and cyclists. In addition to keeping your distance, you must also remain alert at all times to the presence of bicycles on the road.

In many cases, accidents occur because drivers are only on the lookout for other vehicles. With the rising number of bicycle riders around the nation, motorists must also expect to see some cyclists during their daily commutes. Additionally, you should exercise caution when exiting your vehicle on a busy street. It’s possible for a cyclist to be struck by the suddenly opened door of a parked vehicle, which can result in significant and sometimes fatal injuries.

Being aware of the traffic laws that apply to cyclists is another important recommendation, as the same laws that govern your responsibilities behind the wheel are also applicable to bicycle riders. That means they must follow the flow of traffic, obey all signage and traffic lights and use the same signaling procedures. Because cyclists are beholden to the prevailing traffic codes, you’re required to treat them as you would any other vehicle. 

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