Friday, July 3, 2015

sharing our roads safely - part 1

When you're on the road, whether as a driver or cyclist, do you make the effort to communicate with other road users and pay attention when others are trying to communicate with you?

Turn signals:  Drivers should use them not just for other drivers, but also for pedestrians and cyclists. Knowing whether or not a vehicle will be turning can affect our safety on the streets. If you see a pedestrian, cyclist or other vehicle near enough to be affected by what you're doing at an intersection, please use turn signals if you're going to turn.

Hand signals: Do you remember learning them as part of Rules of the Road in driver ed? Do you know them? If you are a cyclist, do you use them? Communication should go both ways.

Are you familiar with the various ways that cyclists can legally make a turn?  Depending on traffic conditions and intersection configuration, a cyclist may choose one of these options.

Illinois is one of many states requiring that drivers leave 3 feet or more of clearance when passing a cyclist.  Most states now have anti-dooring laws, which hold vehicle occupants (driver or passenger) liable if they injure a cyclist by opening vehicle doors into the cyclist's path of travel. Chicago also has laws holding drivers responsible for causing cyclist injuries by turning left or right in the cyclist's path.

Intersection crashes and doorings cause the majority of cyclist injuries from crashes. Clear communication can prevent crashes and injuries and save lives.

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