Drivers often distract themselves and focus on their destinations more than their safety and the safety of other people on the road. Drivers can be so singularly focused that they can completely forget that they have an obligation to share the road with others.
Pedestrians and cyclists have a legal right to use the road just like motor vehicles do. However, they are subject to slightly different traffic laws. How can you make sure that you are safe when you encounter a bicycle on the Florida roads?
Make a point of looking for cyclists, motorcycles and pedestrians
One of the reasons people fail to see bicycles, motorcycles and pedestrians is simply how much information their brain has to process while they drive. You won’t be able to consciously focus on every individual vehicle that you passed during your daily commute, so your brain has to prioritize what you focus on and what you ignore or forget.
Objects and people who pose minimal risk to your safety, like cyclists, won’t make a strong impression on you. That means you could look right at them and not actually notice them. Making a point of actively checking for cyclists could be the most important thing you do to prevent a crash.
Learn the rules that apply to cyclists
Cyclists have to comply with different traffic rules than motor vehicles. They will have to drive with the flow of traffic, rather than moving against it the way that pedestrians should. They must follow all posted traffic signs. They also need to use either an illuminated turn signal system that they add to their bicycles or their arms to signal their intent in traffic.
When a cyclist puts their left arm out in a straight line, that is an indication that they are about to turn left. If they hold their left arm up at a 90-degree angle with their hand pointing up or their right arm up, that means they will turn right. If they hold their left arm out at a 90-degree angle with the hand pointed down, that means they will stop.
Keeping an eye out for bicycles and reminding yourself about bike-related traffic laws can help you stay safer and avoid causing a crash that could hurt someone else or leave you with financial liability.