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Motorists and cyclists sharing the road

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2024 | Personal Injury

When warm weather comes to Cherry Hill, cycling enthusiasts strap on their helmets and head for their favorite trails. Still, others enjoy urban riding or look forward to using their bicycle for their daily commute.

So, now is a good time to brush up on some roadway safety tips.

Mutual respect

More and more people are turning to cycling. Some do it out of concern for the environment, while others enjoy the health benefits. However, most individuals ride bicycles because it’s fun. This influx of cyclists onto the roads heightens the importance of mutual respect between cyclists and motorists. This is crucial because approximately 1,000 cyclists die each year due to crashes with vehicles, and another 130,000 are severely injured.

Cyclists can do their part by remembering the following:

  • Follow the same traffic laws as motorists. This includes stopping at stop signs and red lights, signaling turns and riding in the direction of traffic. 
  • Wear brightly colored clothing and use lights (both front and rear) and reflectors, especially when riding early in the morning, at dusk or night
  • Use bike lanes where available

Motorists have a responsibility to:

  • Give cyclists a wide berth when passing. A distance of at least 3 feet is recommended as a buffer. This space helps protect cyclists from potential side-swipes and gives them room to maneuver around obstacles like potholes or debris that may not be visible to drivers.
  • Always check for approaching cyclists before making turns, especially right turns where cyclists may continue straight in a bike lane or along the road’s shoulder. 
  • Perform a quick check for cyclists before opening your door when you’re parking on a street.

Communication between cyclists and motorists is essential to preventing accidents. Both should use the appropriate signals to communicate their intentions. Motorists can use turn signals well in advance before making a turn, while cyclists can use hand signals to indicate turns or stops. 

The road is a shared resource, and its safety depends on the cooperation and understanding of all users. We are all responsible for ensuring our fellow travelers safely reach their destination.