Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Heightened care, attention promotes safety for cyclists, motorists
High fuel prices, increased attention to personal fitness and convenience are among a number of reasons that more people in the Oakland University community are choosing bicycles as a quick and easy means of getting from one spot to the next.
While this trend represents good news in many ways, it also warrants an increased level of caution and care on the part of both bicyclists and motorists. The fall 2012 semester is young, but already the campus has seen at least two vehicle-bicycle collisions. Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported in either case.
Nonetheless, university safety experts say cautious driving and riding is critical. In an effort to prevent serious or even tragic collisions on campus, Officer Ken Kiley of the Oakland University Police Department has shared a number of important tips designed to keep members of the Grizzly community safe both on campus an off.
|Tips for Cyclists
||Tips for Motorists
|Share the Road:
- The same laws that apply to motorists apply to cyclists
- Obey all traffic control devices
- Use hand signals to indicate stops and turns
- Always ride in the same direction as traffic (on the right).
- Use the furthest right lane that heads to your destination
- Slower moving cyclists should stay to the right
- Reduce speed when encountering cyclists
- Don't tailgate, especially in bad weather
- Recognize hazards cyclists may face and give them space
- Ride in a straight line
- Don't swerve in the road or between parked cars
- Check for traffic before entering street or intersection
- Anticipate hazards and adjust your position accordingly
|| Yield to Cyclists:
- Bicycles are considered vehicles
- Cyclists should be given the appropriate right of way
- Allow extra time for cyclists to traverse intersections
- Wear brightly colored clothing that provides contrast
- Use a white front light in low light conditions
- Use a red rear light in low light conditions
- Use a reflector or reflective tape or clothing anytime
- Show your presence by making eye contact with motorists
- Always wear a properly fitting helmet no matter how short the trip
|| Be Considerate:
- Scan for cyclists in traffic and at intersections
- Do not blast your horn in close proximity to cyclists
- Look for cyclists when opening doors
||Pass with Care:
- When passing, leave four feet between you and a cyclist
- Wait for safe road and traffic conditions before you pass
- Check over your shoulder before moving back
Kiley, an active member of the Team OUPD cycling team, said drivers and riders can advance road safety by avoiding distracted driving and showing concern for fellow commuters.
"One way to remember safe driving habits is to think of the three C's of road safety – caution, courtesy and common sense," Officer Kiley explained. "Focusing on these things behind the wheel and behind the handle bars goes a long way to help ensure that we'll all get where we're going safely."
For more information on road safety, visit: