Driving a motor vehicle is a weighty responsibility and should not be taken lightly. In fact, it may well be the most dangerous thing you routinely do. Fiddling with the radio or reading a text message while driving can spell disaster for folks around you.
Washington Bikes has published a pamphlet called Drive Aware offering motorists some pointers for safely sharing the road with people on foot or bike. Tips include:
Focus on the road. You run the greatest risk of hitting a person walking or biking when you are distracted. Common distractions include talking on cell phones or texting, adjusting the radio, eating, and focusing on passengers. It is illegal to talk on a cell phone or text while driving, unless using a hands-free device.
Give people on bikes adequate space to maneuver around road hazards you may not see. These include potholes, debris, glass, and other hazards that might not be a problem for a motor vehicle but are potentially dangerous to bicyclists.
If a car is stopped in the roadway, assume it is stopped for someone. Don’t pass until your are sure no one is crossing.
The pamphlet contains 15 tips for sharing the road and it’s yours for the asking. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a request for the Drive Aware pamphlet. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.