With the exceptional weather we experience living in Goleta, many of us ride our bicycles and motorcycles year-round. As sharing the road becomes even more prominent throughout the upcoming spring and summer months, so does the importance of both cyclist and driver safety.
In recognition of May as Bicycle and Motorcycle Safety Month, the California Office of Traffic Safety offers some important safety tips for both drivers and cyclists alike.
- Perform regular checks for cyclists – Cyclists are not always easy to spot. Slow down, remain cautious and check mirrors and blind spots regularly – especially when changing lanes or pulling out of driveways and parking lots.
- Alert cyclists of intentions – Before changing lanes or merging with traffic, drivers should always alert nearby cyclists by utilizing their turn signals.
- Maintain safe following distance – Cyclists require more time to maneuver around obstacles or stop in an emergency. Take extra caution and allow a minimum of three to four seconds when following a cyclist.
- Increase visibility with brightly colored protective gear – Cyclists should not assume they are fully visible to drivers, even in the daylight. Whether on a bicycle or motorcycle, wearing brightly-colored, reflective gear will aid in remaining visible to motorists at all times.
- Use hand and turn signals – Cyclists should always alert drivers of their intentions by utilizing hand or turn signals before making a turn or lane change.
- Adhere to traffic laws – Cyclists maintain the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, and should obey all traffic laws. Among other rules of the road, cyclists are required to follow traffic signals and stop signs, signal intentions and travel with the flow of traffic.The California Office of Traffic Safety encourages all drivers and cyclists to work together to make our roads a safe place for all. For more tips on bicycle and motorcycle safety, or to learn about OTS’ additional efforts, log on to www.facebook.com/CaliforniaOTS or www.twitter.com/OTS_CA, or visit www.ots.ca.gov.