In 2014, 21,287 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents, including 3,514 who were killed or seriously injured. Driving negligence was the main factor involving cyclist collisions and accidents. Driver/rider error was the most frequently reported reason for the incident involving 73% of all reported accidents in 2014. Drivers should be extra cautious to be safe and courteous when on the road with bikes to prevent accidents.

Here are a few tips for safely sharing the roadways with two-wheeled drivers.

Understand Their language
Cyclists have their own language that allows them to communicate traffic signals to motor vehicles and other cyclists. Look out for the signals.

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Give Cyclists Space
More than 20 states have passed laws requiring motorists to give bicycles on the roadway at least three feet of space. (Find out your state’s laws here.) Consider changing lanes before passing a cyclists to give them ample of room.

Watch for Designated Bike Lanes
Many bike friendly cities have designated lanes just for bicyclists. A designated bike lane means you are driving in an area with a high volume of bicycle traffic. But for those roadways that do not, riders will travel in the right lane. Bikes should never travel on sideways.

Look Before You Exit Your Car
Cyclists are terrified of being “doored.” Imagine a rider pedaling along a row of cars. Suddenly, a driver flings their door open. The impact can send the rider flying or cause them to swerve into traffic.

As the driver, you should take a few seconds to look and see if a cyclist is approaching. A cyclist has no way to anticipate whether a driver inside a parked car is about to open the door.

Be Mindful How You Turn
When turning your vehicle, do not turn so close to a bike that the bike will run into you or you will run into the bike. If you aren’t sure how close the bike is, let the bike pass before making the turn.

Be Patient. Be Alert. Be Mindful.
Cyclists can see or sense you edging up close behind, trying to pass, and other impatient actions. This can make cyclists nervous, creating a hazardous situation. The bike rider will likely need to avoid the hazards. Also, avoid using your horn. It can really startle the rider.