Motorists and Cyclists: How to Stay Safe While Sharing the Road

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has named May the International Bicycle Safety Month. To celebrate, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is hosting Capital to Coast 2021 – a statewide bicycle safety tour. 

This tour started in Hostess City, going through Atlanta, Athens, Macon, and Savannah before finishing in Brunswick. They want to bring awareness to the number of cyclist fatalities both nationally and within the state. In 2019, 846 cyclists died in a car crash, with 20 of those deaths occurring within Georgia’s borders.

The number of cyclist fatalities has been increasing over the past few years in Georgia. In the time between 2010 and 2014, Georgia reported 96 cyclist fatalities. That number increased to 118 during the 2015 to 2019 span – a 23 percent increase over the last five years.

The Capital to Coast tour has offered several resources to both motorists and cyclists to try and keep the roads safer to combat this. The Capital to Coast tour team shares safety tips and educational messages with both motorists and cyclists at these events. The event also offers a daily ride opportunity for cyclists to bike together on a pre-designated path around the city.

The ultimate goal is to spread awareness of the issue so that both motorists and cyclists will be safer when driving on roadways. To help spread their message, below are some safety tips for motorists and cyclists alike that were taught at these events:

Tips for Motorists

  • Obey Georgia’s three-feet law by giving cyclists three feet of space on the road
  • Yield to bicyclists at stop signs, intersections, and crosswalks
  • Avoid turning in front of a bicyclist at a stop sign, intersection, or crosswalk. They might not be able to slow down in time and run into the side of your car
  • Double-check your surroundings when in parking lots, at stop signs, or are reversing to make sure there are no cyclists nearby
  • Look left-right-left before turning right at a red light
  • Obey the speed limit and other rules of the road. Reduce speed when road conditions call for it
  • Practice defensive driving

Tips for Cyclists

  • Choose the right helmet. Wearing a well-protective helmet while riding your bike will ensure that you will be less likely to suffer significant injuries if you do get into an accident
  • Choose the right clothes and body gear. By wearing bright colors with reflective strips, you stand out against your surroundings and are less likely to be overlooked by a motorist
  • Make sure you have a white front light and a red rear light on the bicycle to be more visible to drivers
  • Check your bicycle often for mechanical issues, low tire pressure, and working breaks
  • Riding on the sidewalk is only allowed for those that are under 12 years of age
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic
  • Obey street signs, signals, and road markings the same way you would if you were driving a car

By keeping these tips in mind, both motorists and cyclists will be much safer when driving on the road. The Capital to Coast team has not announced any specific plans for next year’s run, but the event will likely be hosted again after the stunning turnout of this year. 

“The overall goal is for bikers to make sure they share the road and for motorists to watch out for bikers,” says Rustin Smith, a personal injury attorney from Smith Hulsey Law.

Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar is a project manager at Tridindia with more than nine years of commendable experience in writing about LMS, translation, and IT. His unmatched talent and passion for digital marketing gave him the opportunity to work as a multi-tasking project manager at TridIndia’s sister company, Link Building Corp. Today, he contributes to the world by imparting knowledge on SEO, link building and internet marketing etc., that helps business owners grow their online business.