It sounds simple, in theory, to pass a cyclist. But these passing maneuvers cause accidents all the time. They can be catastrophic for cyclists, for whom a simple helmet is often not nearly enough protection when struck by a car.
To prevent these accidents, let’s take a look at the best way to pass someone on a bike.
Stay three feet away
In Louisiana, as with many other states, drivers need to give a cyclist three feet of space at a minimum. You must maintain this distance for the entire pass. If a driver has to get closer to get by, then they are not in a safe place to do so. Drivers often act as if cyclists do not have a right to the road, but they do, and this must be respected.
Slow down if need be
One reason that people pass too close is when there is oncoming traffic. This happens in many cases because a motorist cannot move into the passing lane, but they still want to pass. Motorists must slow down and drive behind the bike until there is room to pass. Yes, this may mean they have to drive slower than they wish.
Watch the mirrors
Drivers should never pull back into the lane too close to the bike. It can be harder to see a bike than a car, so drivers need to use their mirrors to get all the way around before merging back over.
What if someone hits you?
Drivers often fail to follow the above-referenced crash avoidance techniques and strike cyclists. If you are injured in such a crash, you may be able to seek compensation for your costs, including medical bills and lost wages.