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Can Bikes and Cars Coexist Safely?

More and more people across the country are choosing to ride bicycles to commute to work or for leisure activities. As a result of this increased activity on the roadways, there is a higher frequency of accidents and bicyclists are usually the ones with more serious consequences.

At Mr. B's Paint & Body, Inc., we always stress safety here on our blog and that is why we enjoy sharing this information with our readers in Albuquerque and throughout the State of NM.

With an average car weighing about 4,000 pounds, a collision involving a bike and motor vehicle can be extremely dangerous if not deadly.

In fact, hundreds of bicyclists are killed every year and thousands are injured as a result of a collision involving a motor vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the majority of bicycle deaths happen in urban areas (71%) and between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. (20%).

It is becoming more important than ever to find ways for bicycles and motor vehicles to coexist.

Here are some tips on how to be safe around bicyclists: 

Remember to share the road! Yield to bike riders, especially at driveways and intersections.

Drive defensively and always check your blind spots.

Become familiar with the rules surrounding bicyclists in your area. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, “Bicycle riders on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, and are subject to the same rules and regulations.” Many states have similar rules.

Watch out for bikes while turning, merging and opening car doors. Be aware of bikers in parking lots and while backing up.

Be especially careful during dawn, dusk or nighttime.

Follow bikers at a safe distance and treat them like other vehicles on the road.

Abide by the speed limit and slow down depending on the road conditions.

Allow enough space for bicyclists and take extra caution. Many states require drivers to give about three feet of space to bikes.

When passing bikers, slow down, be patient and if necessary, indicate if you need to change your position while driving. Since bikers are entitled to share the road, respect their right-of-way.

At red lights, look carefully before turning right to make sure a bike isn’t coming up from behind and planning to go straight ahead.

Often, motorists get frustrated with the increased number of bicycles on the road, especially if bikers aren’t following the rules. Remember there is a human being on that bike, not an object, and try to remain calm. It will help everyone reach their destination safely.  

Sources: NHTSA, AOL and California Department of Motor Vehicles 

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