Having been nearly run over or run off the road by countless drivers over the years, I feel these tips are imperative. Please treat cyclists and pedestrians with some respect, drivers! Here are some tips for you:
- Do not open your door if you see a cyclist coming up behind you. Because I’m not in a two ton hunk of steel, I will almost certainly break my bones when this happens. Trust me, it will be you who will pay for my injuries, even if I have to take you to court and have them order you to pay me for the rest of your life. Why? Because you will be the one guilty of breaking the law and my bones, simple and plain. Have some respect. Don’t open your door right in front of me. I saw you look. I saw you make eye contact with me. Why did you open your door, asshole!? You’re just lucky I dodged you. My bike tire could easily have shattered your pelvis as you exited your vehicle.
- Do not speed up in order to turn right directly in front of me. If we’re both approaching an intersection, and you want to turn right, then slow down behind me, and wait for me to go through. If you turn immediately in front of me, and I don’t have time to stop, I could die. Many cyclists die in exactly this accident. I have a friend who broke several ribs, suffered a punctured lung, and was dragged 50 feet down a street by a prick like you. Wait your turn, and turn right behind me. Don’t cut me off. I seriously could die from you pulling this maneuver.
- Do not stop in the intersection. If you saw the light changing too late, just accept the ticket and go through. Do not stop where your vehicle is blocking the bike lane or crosswalk. Then you put the cyclist or pedestrian in the position of a very dangerous crossing where I have to enter a traffic lane to get around your sorry ass, or wait for the next light change.
- Look for bikes and pedestrians before making a left turn at a traffic light or stop sign. Just because you don’t see a giant hunk of steel coming at you does not mean the intersection is all yours. If a bike is coming down that hill toward you, he might be going 45 miles per hour. If you turn left in front of him, and he hits you…or worse…if you hit him…he very well could die in that accident.
- Allow me to move into the left turn lane when I signal properly and you are approaching a traffic light. According to most state laws in the USA, I have to obey all the same traffic rules as you do in your car. So let me get in the left turn lane. Don’t speed up when you see me signal. Don’t honk at me because I’m slower than you.
- Imagine that the cyclist or pedestrian you see on the street is driving a large SUV when you see us. Would you open your door right in front of an SUV coming at you? Would you try to zip around an SUV and make a sudden right turn in front of it? Would you turn left across a traffic light immediately in front of an SUV? Would you stop so as to block the lane reserved for SUVs? Would you speed up to prevent an SUV from turning left? No; you’d never dream of doing such stupid and dangerous things to a guy driving an SUV. So don’t it to cyclists or pedestrians. Treat us with some respect!