How to Pass and Turn Safely
When driving a vehicle, it’s important to understand the correct rules for interacting with cyclists on the road. Brushing up on proper passing and turning etiquette ensures a safer commute for everyone. Here are some crucial guidelines for how to pass and turn safely when driving a vehicle.
Are you ready to try it out? Watch our 60-second video above for an overview and check out the guidelines below for next time you’re on the road.
NEXT TIME YOU ARE ON THE ROAD, FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES:
Slow down when passing
When you see a cyclist up ahead, remember to slow down! Passing riders at high speeds increases the chance of a crash and can startle them.
Keep a safe distance
Be sure there’s at least 4 feet of space between the cyclist and your vehicle when passing them. This is Pennsylvania state-mandated law (PA Vehicle Code § 3303). It’s important to leave extra room for riders to get around any obstacles in the road, such as storm drains, potholes, and debris.
Give cyclists the right of way
While driving on a road with a bike lane that ends, give cyclists the right of way, so they have enough space to safely merge from the bike lane to the shared road lane. In many cases, a bike lane will end on the road. It’s the driver’s duty to yield for cyclists.
Do not honk or yell at a cyclist
When traveling on the road, please be patient. Honking or yelling at a cyclist can startle them and cause a crash.
Use your turn signals and check for cyclists
When turning, use your turn signals and check for cyclists that may be riding up from behind. To properly check for cyclists, perform a shoulder check, check the mirrors, then shoulder check again.
Do not overtake a cyclist and make a right turn ahead of them
When you’re travelling on the road, you may see a cyclist up ahead. Never speed up to make a right turn in front of them. This can throw the cyclist off-balance and cause a crash. This is Pennsylvania state-mandated law (PA Vehicle Code § 3331).
Beware of the “Pittsburgh left”
Making a “Pittsburgh left” means turning left in front of oncoming traffic the moment the light turns green. This falls under the same Pennsylvania state-mandated law as speeding up and making a right in front of a cyclist (PA Vehicle Code § 3331).
Roads are designed for use by drivers and cyclists alike. Practicing good etiquette when driving provides a safer atmosphere for all. Next time you’re on the road, remember these guidelines to keep our streets safe!
Join a group ride today, by checking out our events calendar:
Sign up for Bike Pittsburgh’s newsletter, The Messenger, to get the latest news on events, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and fun, delivered straight to your inbox. Twice monthly emails, no spam.