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Tips for sharing the road with cyclists

In Georgia, state law prohibits teen and adult cyclists from using the sidewalk. Drivers and bicycle riders are responsible for sharing the road safely to help reduce the risk of serious accident injury. 

These tips can help motorists make room for two-wheeled travelers. 

Keep a safe distance 

Georgia defines a safe distance between a car and a bicycle as less than 3 feet. Drivers can cross solid yellow or white lines to maintain this distance as long as it is safe to do so. They must also yield to cyclists who are traveling in a designated bike lane. 

On a road without a bike lane, a cyclist should stay as far to the right as possible. However, he or she does not have to use the shoulder of the road. 

Know the signals

Most cyclists don’t have brake lights and turn signals. Instead, motorists should look for hand signals that indicate the rider’s next move. These include: 

  • Turning the left arm down at a 90-degree angle to signify a coming stop 
  • Holding the left arm up at a 90-degree angle to signify a right turn 
  • Holding the left arm straight out to the side for an impending left turn 

Eliminate driving distractions

Distractions such as texting and driving can cause serious injury or death if a collision with a cyclist occurs. Motorists should refrain from texting and making phone calls while driving except when using a hands-free device in accordance with the Hands-Free Georgia Act. 

Taking these steps can make the road a safer place for all types of vehicles. 

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