- Don't drive in bike lanes, even to pass another vehicle
- Look before you open car doors
- Pass cyclists slowly
- Give cyclists at least 3 feet of room
- Allow cyclists to enter the driving lane
- Check mirrors and blind spots
- Always use turn signals
- Drive cautiously and without distractions
Avoid the most common bicycle/motorist crashes
- Right / Left Hook: A motorist turns, cutting off or hitting the cyclist going straight.
- Head On: A motorist hits an oncoming cyclist who is riding against traffic
- Side Swipe: A motorist going straight hits the cyclist riding alongside the motor vehicle.
- Failure to Stop: A motorist crossing an intersection hits a cyclist traveling on the cross street.
- Ride-Out: A motorist hits a cyclist while either entering or existing a driveway, side street or parking spot.
- Dooring: A person inside a car opens a door into a cyclist, or opens a door just in front of a cyclist so that the cyclist crashes into the door.
- Rear End: A motorist going straight hits a cyclist from behind who is also traveling in the same direction.
Consider Biking Instead of Driving
Combine travel and exercise and skip the stress of traffic and parking. For trips up to 5 miles (which most in-town trips are) you can get to your destination in about the same amount of time as if you had driven your car.
No monthly car payment, no gas to buy, no parking to pay for, no oil changes, no car washes, no insurance premiums and no license or registration fees. The average yearly cost of owning and driving a car including car payments, depreciation, insurance, taxes and fees, repairs, maintenance and fuel can be around $3,300 to $9,000! The average yearly cost of of owning and riding a bicycle is only $20 to $300. Some families have been able to eliminate the need for the second car by using bicycles. Even if you only bike occasionally, each car mile replaced by a bike mile can save you money on oil changes, tune-ups, tire replacements, parking, etc.
Save the Environment
Cars are the single largest cause of air pollution in America. Car exhaust contains carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, sulfur dioxide, lead, and particulate matter, all of which are poisonous to humans, the environment and contribute to global warming. Tailpipe exhaust has even been known to cause certain cancers, heart disease, respiratory illness, nervous system disorders, emphysema, and birth defects. The manufacturing process of cars is equally as detrimental to humans and the environment. The process requires enormous amounts of resources like steel, aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, plastic, and rubber, all of which must be mined, processed and shipped around the world. This process devours natural resources, destroys ecosystems, burns fossil fuels, and contributes to global warming. A mile traveled on a bike instead of a car can eliminate up to four pounds of toxic emissions.
Cycling burns about 500 calories per hour. It exercises your heart, lungs, and muscles, strengthens your legs, arms , abdomen, and buttocks, burns fat, increases metabolism, builds up your immune system, reduces the rise of heart attack, stroke and diabetes, and can help you live longer.
For more detailed commuting and safe bicycling tips, check out the Wisconsin Bike Fed.