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Motorists need to share the road with cyclists

Car crashes range in severity, and most of them do not result in significant injuries. According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, over 53,000 car crashes occurred throughout the state in 2015. 

While most car accidents result in minor injuries, the severity of any wounds increases if one of the victims was on a bicycle. Many car drivers are still unsure of how to adequately share the road with bicyclists. Bicycle riders have just as much of a right to the road as anyone else, and there are several tips for ensuring everyone gets to their destinations safely. 

Think of bicyclists as any other driver

A big problem is that many motorists view bicyclists as a nuisance or someone in the way. In actuality, bicyclists have every right to the road, and it is safer for them to be on the road rather than the sidewalk. A change in perspective can be enough to calm down drivers to make them willing to accommodate bike riders. One way to adjust perspective is to view it this way: a bicyclist means there is one less automobile on the road, making your commute more manageable. 

Give bike riders a minimum of three feet

Even if you do not mind seeing bicyclists on your commute, you may not know how much space a bicyclist truly needs. The recommendation is to give bike riders at least three feet of room. This gives the bicyclist a little more leeway in case he or she suddenly needs to move. If a motorist is able to do so, then he or she should move into the other lane rather than risk getting too close. 

Remain vigilant

Naturally, motorists should avoid texting or eating while driving. They should remain particularly vigilant when making left turns and engaging in other potentially dangerous moves. Oklahoma is home to roundabouts, which can be troublesome for bicyclists. Keep both eyes on the road at all times, and be willing to adjust if a bicyclist seems to come out of nowhere. 

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