When you’re driving, be a PAL and follow these tips:
- Appreciate the vulnerability of people biking and walking. They are much more likely to end up injured in collisions due to the speed and sheer mass of automobiles.
- Be patient and take your time. It’s not worth saving a few seconds if it causes an incident. Many severe crashes are caused by excessive speed.
- Be attentive at intersections and check all directions. There are lots of interactions at intersections with pedestrians crossing the street and cyclists making turning movements.
- Look over your shoulder and make sure the coast is clear before opening the car door. Bike lanes are often next to parked cars, so there is a good chance a bike is approaching.
- Don’t right hook a cyclist by turning right across their path immediately after passing them. The cyclist is moving too, so it’s much safer to let them go ahead before moving over and making your right turn.
- Give cyclists at least three feet of space at all times. This is a law in many states and provides breathing room for everyone.
- When you are turning, you may have to wait for a “gap” in traffic. Beware that while you are waiting for that gap, pedestrians may have moved into your intended path. Look twice before you turn.
- When entering a crosswalk area, drive slowly and be prepared to stop.
- Do not overtake and pass other vehicles stopped for pedestrians.
- Remember that you may encounter people walking and biking anytime and anywhere – even in unexpected places.