Whether it’s for leisure, exercise or commuting to work, more and more people are taking to the streets on bicycles. Because bicycles are smaller than other vehicles on the road, they can sometimes be less visible to motorists. On the road, it’s important that both drivers and bicyclists follow precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. When the road isn’t shared safely, it can cause dangerous situations. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018, 857 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in the U.S., which was a 6% increase from 2017.

There are precautions you can take to help prevent bicycle-vehicle crashes. Here are some bicycle safety tips for motorists to consider.

6 Tips for Safely Sharing the Road With Bikes

1. Turn Carefully

Be sure to check your mirrors and your blind spots before making a turn. Bicyclists ride on the right side of the road and can quickly approach behind you. When approaching a stop sign or red light, come to a complete stop and check for bike riders.

2. Pass With Caution

Approach bicycles slowly and give them space. If you need to pass a bicyclist be sure to do so with caution. Just like when you pass another vehicle, always pass on the left-hand side and be sure you have full visibility ahead before you move over into an adjacent lane. Be sure to pass slowly and allow extra space.

3. Know Your Biking Hand Signals

Good communication can help keep everyone safe. Learn common hand signals bicyclists use like left turn, right turn, slowing and stopping. Understanding the bicyclist’s next move can make a huge difference.

4. Avoid Distractions Behind the Wheel

Distractions like adjusting the radio, texting or talking on the phone and handing something to someone in the backseat, takes your eyes and focus off the road. Drivers need to be fully in tune with their surroundings. Drive defensively and keep your focus on the road.

5. Double-Check Before You Back Up

Be sure to check your mirrors, camera and blind spots multiple times before backing up. Bicycles and other vehicles can appear quickly. 

6. Treat Bicyclists as Motorists

On the road, bicycles are treated just like any other vehicle. All states require bicyclists to obey the same rules as motorists while on the road. 

Stay Alert. Stay Focused.

Take these simple steps to help keep everyone safe on the roadway. Your local Farm Bureau agent can also help to ensure you have proper auto insurance and umbrella coverage. Connect with an agent today.