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Motorists and cyclists: Keep a distance ...

Safe Cycling Distance: Be Careful!

Life is tough for cyclists when it comes to respecting safety distances .

If the highway code is clear on behavior and overtaking between bicycles and motorists , the reality of traffic is quite different. By its relatively small size, the cyclist is ignored by drivers. A scourge in traffic where bicycles find themselves in dangerous situations. Take advantage of this article to take stock of the facts and best practices to adopt by bike.

Always signal your intentions to motorists

Catching a biker or a car puts you in more danger than him. So:

  • Don't skimp on the use of turn signals long before you veer off to the left. Or, notify your change of direction by extending your hand.
  • Observe the priorities and traffic lights in intersections.
  • Do not brake suddenly or stop without warning, we advise you to use a brake light, it is very practical.
  • Check that your lighting is working properly so that you don't get caught by nightfall.

The highway code and mandatory safety distances

In built-up areas, keep a safety distance of one meter :

  • during overtaking between a car and a cyclist . If a roadway that is too narrow does not allow it, the motorist must remain patient and carefully wait for the lane to allow the possibility of overtaking. Or, a minimum road width of 4 meters. In fact, it happens that the cyclist feels oppressed by a motorist sticking or forcing the passage to be able to overtake ... Brushing against the bike.
  • At distance from sidewalks , when a cyclist is traveling on the right side of the road. However, cars are parked regularly on the sides of the roads. This generates catastrophic scenarios where the safety distance is no longer respected . For example, opening doors without checking to see if someone is coming behind.

Or when a car leaves its parking lot without turning on the flashing light, or looking in its retro. Cutting off the road to a possible cyclist.

  • To overtake a cyclist on a continuous line .

Since 2015, overtaking a cyclist on a white line is authorized. Be careful, however, to achieve this overlap in the rules of the art. Indeed, decree n ° 2005-808 of July 2, 2015 stipulates the possibility of crossing the white line to overtake a bicycle or a line of cyclist on condition of being on a double lane limited to 50 km / h with good visibility. when exceeding.

In practice, the right wheels of the vehicle must remain to the right of the line, while remaining more than a meter from the cyclist in town and a meter and a half outside built-up areas.

Situations where safe zones are forgotten

Caution when dealing with a vulnerable user

Any vehicle should slow down when faced with a more vulnerable road user. It can be a pedestrian, an animal and two-wheelers.

Thus, slower and more cockpit, cyclists are often surprised by a car arriving too fast

Fittings for bicycle unavailable

In town, cyclists have their own facilities, bounded by white lines or dotted with bicycle pictograms on the ground. The cycles can run without fear of contact with a car.

Except when the areas dedicated to bicycles are occupied by parked vehicles. The latter encourage two-wheelers to suddenly deviate from their path to the detriment of their safety.

Priorities in roundabouts

Priorities in roundabouts apply to everyone and both cyclist and motorist must wait their turn before heading in a direction.

In practice, motorists forget to consider cyclists as full road users and cut them off when taking the exit.

Intersections and blind spots

Intersections are recurring dangers for the safety of cyclists .

If a car wishes to turn right while it is level with a bicycle, the blind spot obscures the visibility of the cyclist and the car drives in front of the bicycle while the latter has priority.

When slowing down, a motorist can let a car pass on the front and wish to turn left. Except that, without visibility on the cycle lane, it runs the risk of hitting or cutting off the road to a bicycle in full traffic.

Double directions for cyclists

The double directions for cyclists allow bikes to pedal in the opposite direction to cars. This increases the visibility of road users among themselves. However, some vehicles travel the entire width of the lane as in the case of a classic one-way street and forget to keep to the right, hindering passage and good circulation of the bike . < / p>

Advice for cyclists: create your own safety bubble

Make yourself visible

Riding a bicycle in a lighted street does not always make you visible to other road users. Therefore, being seen by everyone is a fundamental criterion in cycle safety .

The highway code also obliges you to attach certain lighting and reflectors equipment to your bike. To wear a high security vest during low light periods.

Depending on your areas and driving conditions, additional accessories for cyclists improve your visibility and enhance your safety on the roads.

Set the safety distances yourself

As a road user, you must know your rights and safety distances (link to dedicated article).

Once in the saddle, apply all its regulations and impose these rules on those who come along your route.

  • Stay several meters behind a vehicle that obscures your vision, even a bicycle.
  • Observe the safety distances of 1 m from a roadside and 1.20 m from the doors of parked vehicles.
  • Stand in the middle of a road that does not allow cars to overtake you.

Stuck behind you, they cannot force the passage at the risk of mowing you

Cars, like cyclists, are responsible for their behavior on the road. Even when it comes to respecting safety distances . Now aware of risky situations, know how to take your responsibilities and anticipate, by adapting your driving and your visibility.



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