Sharing the Road: Safety Tips for Driving Next to Cyclists

Silent, small, and quick, it can be challenging to keep track of cyclists on the road. If you are driving alongside bike lanes and many cyclists, or even in an area with only the odd cyclist, safe driving is a necessity. Learning to share the road decreases the chance of accidents and ensures that everyone can arrive safely and get where they are going without incident. If you find yourself startled by cyclists or unfamiliar with the best way to drive defensively around them, read the tips and reminders below. If you would like more information and practice behind the wheel, visit our truck driving school in Burnaby or our car division in North Vancouver.

North Shore Driving School has driving schools in Vancouver and surrounding areas for drivers of all experience levels and with all types of vehicles. We offer everything from truck driving lessons to individual driving courses and graduated licensing program (GLP) lessons. Call our car division at 604-988-1138 or our truck division at 604-299-9292 to tell us more about you and we will direct you towards the right driver education. 

Tips for Driving with Cyclists from Your Coquitlam Driving School

Stay alert and follow these 5 tips to stay safe alongside cyclists:

  1. Respect Your Power  Drivers have 2 tons of metal and other parts around and behind them. In contrast, cyclists have a mere 20 pounds underneath them. The car or other motor vehicle will always come out of a collision with less damage. Respect that vulnerability and give them space. 
  2. 3 Feet or 1 Metre – That space you are offering should be approximately 3 feet or 1 metre in size. This room to breathe allows cyclists to navigate without worrying and avoid close calls. While your borders are clearly defined by your vehicle, cyclists are completely exposed. Giving them space allows them to signal freely and feel safe on the roads. 
  3. Check Local Laws – Every area is different, but the general rule is that bikes are considered vehicles on the road. They follow traffic signals and laws while riding alongside traffic. Refresh your knowledge of local bicycle laws or visit a driving school in Coquitlam. 
  4. Pause for Right Turns – The most common issues occur when drivers are making right turns. Since bike lanes run along the right side of the street, if you fail to signal and check your blind spot, a cyclist could try to ride straight through when you turn. Be extra cautious when making right turns and always signal diligently – no matter where you are driving or what manoeuver you are completing. 
  5. Consider Left Turns – While most drivers have a good gauge on vehicle speed, it can be harder to tell how fast a bicycle is approaching. If you are not positive you have enough time, yield. Cyclists can reach fairly high speeds, especially on sloped roads, so don’t assume they are going slow enough that you will have time to complete your turn.

Visit a Langley Driving School for More Driver Safety Tips

Limit distractions and keep your skills sharp with driving lessons at North Shore Driving School. Our experienced driving instructors can tailor individual lessons to your needs. If you are a new driver, keep your record clean with practice and advice in our Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) driving courses. Learn to share the road with small bicycles and big trucks alike, as we teach you defensive driving techniques and develop your skills on the road. Our driving schools in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, and throughout Greater Vancouver are convenient and knowledgeable sources for driver education.

Keep everyone safe on the road with the right techniques and driving lessons. Call our Burnaby driving schools to brush up your skills or master the roads for the first time. Reach our car division at 604-988-1138, our truck division at 604-299-9292 or contact us online to find out more about our classes.

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