Coexisting with Bicyclists

Cycling has grown significantly in popularity over the past decade, so it’s important to review how to coexist with bicyclists safely.  Towns across the country are adding bike lanes to their roads to become more bike friendly, and more and more people are ditching their car and using a bike as their primary form of transportation.  According to USA Today, larger cities like Minneapolis have more than doubled their rate of bike commuters since 2014.

Now, with bike riding growing in popularity across the U.S., we here at Farmers Union Insurance Agency think it may be a good idea to brush up on some traffic guidelines to avoid any accidents.

When you purchase a bike, you’re likely not required to take a safety class before you ride it.  And, for drivers, the instructors touched on bike safety as part of Drivers Ed, but who remembers details from a course they took in their teens?

The point is, adults aren’t given much guidance when it comes to cyclists and cars coexisting on the roads.  The author of this original blog post from company partner Foremost Insurance did some research, because she needed a refresher herself.  Here are her tips for coexisting with bicyclists.

Safety Tips for Drivers:

  • Try to drive at least three feet or more away from a bike.
  • Try to pass on the left whenever possible.
  • Blind spots are always lurking, make sure to watch for bikes.
  • Only pass a bicyclist when your passing lane is free and clear.
  • Look in your mirror for bicyclists when you’re parking.
  • Always think of bicyclists as equals – remember, they have rights on the road, too!

Safety Tips for Bicyclists:

  • Make sure to ride with the flow of traffic.
  • Traffic signs and signals aren’t just for cars.  Stop on red to be safe.
  • Use marked bike paths or lanes if they’re available.
  • Use your arm to make turn signals and take advantage of turn lanes so cars are aware of what you’re doing.
  • Consider using a mirror to monitor the cars behind you.
  • If you’re riding at night or in a storm, make sure to use some sort of flashers.
  • Watch for parked and parking cars.
  • And most importantly: stay alert at all times.

If you’re unsure about your city’s or state’s traffic laws, it doesn’t hurt to look them up beforehand.  No matter what you drive, be sure to enjoy the roads out there safely!

Original article by Jenean Zahran, a communications specialist at company partner Foremost Insurance.  Find this and other helpful safety tips on Foremost’s Blog.

Remember to contact your local Farmers Union Insurance Agent to get a quote with Foremost Insurance and many other carriers.  Because it’s important to have a relationship with an Agent if – and when – you have a claim.