Drivers aren’t always as cautious about their actions as they should be. They may get distracted behind the wheel, be eating or drinking, be driving without enough sleep or could just be unskilled. Whatever the issue may be, the reality is that crashes happen every day because of drivers who aren’t being cautious on the roads.
Mistakes happen, but when they do, they put people in harm’s way. This is particularly true for cyclists who often share the road with larger vehicles. These people have limited protection against an impact, and even a slower-speed crash could lead to serious or life-threatening injuries.
Drivers can do better in helping to prevent crashes
Drivers have to take steps to minimize the risk of collisions involving cyclists. Failing to do so could put many people at risk of serious injuries or death.
What can drivers do to help?
Check before opening doors
The first thing drivers can do is check before opening doors. Drivers shouldn’t throw open a door into the lane, because there is a risk that a cyclist could be approaching and end up colliding with it.
Give cyclists more space
Another helpful thing to do is to give cyclists more space. Drivers need to let them have the space they need to ride safely. If a driver needs to pass, they should try to pass entirely in the opposite lane whenever possible, since doing so creates a better buffer zone.
Check the road twice
Drivers can also check the road twice before pulling out. Cyclists have a smaller footprint than larger vehicles, so they can be harder to see. Drivers can help avoid a collision by looking both ways twice before pulling out into traffic.
Cyclists deserve to be safe while on the roads
Cyclists are legally able to be on the roads, so they deserve the same respect as any other person driving another vehicle. Drivers need to give them plenty of space and watch out for them to avoid crashes.
If you’re cycling and are hit, remember that it may be possible to hold the driver accountable for your injures and any costs associated with them.