As the school year begins the National Safety Council has some tips for drivers, who are sharing the road with child bicyclists.
On most roadways, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other roadway users and often share the same lane, but bicycles can be hard to see. The riders are exposed and easily injured in a collision. Oncoming bicycle traffic is often overlooked and its speed misjudged. Children riding bicycles create special problems for drivers because they are not capable of proper judgment in determining traffic conditions.
When passing a bicyclist proceeding in the same direction, do so slowly and leave at least a distance between you and the bicycle of no less than three feet. Maintain this clearance until you have safely passed the bicycle.
The most common causes of collisions are drivers turning left in front of an oncoming bicycle or turning right, across the path of the bicycle.
When your vehicle is turning left and there is a bicyclist entering the intersection from the opposite direction, you should wait for the bicyclist to pass before making the turn.
If your vehicle is turning right and a bicyclist is approaching on the right, let the bicyclist go through the intersection first before making a right turn. Remember to always use your turn signals.
Watch for bicycle riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling, especially if the rider is a child.
Take extra precautions in school zones and neighborhood areas where children and teenagers might be riding.
Watch out for bikes coming out of driveways or from behind parked cars or other obstructions.
Check side mirrors for bicyclists before opening the door. Some communities may fine drivers for collisions caused by opening a vehicle door in the path of a bicyclist.