#RoadRights Situation 7 – Passing a cyclist in a neighborhood.
Play along! Did you guess correctly?
The video to the left shows you driving through a neighborhood at 20 mph. You see a person biking up ahead that you want to pass. What is a safe amount of distance you should put between your vehicle and the bicyclist?
The Answer: A minimum of three feet.
When passing a bicyclist, it is safest to give them as much room as is safe: the more space, the better. Do not speed up to pass a person on a bike; it is uncomfortable and unsafe for them and unnecessary for the driver. If you need to go over the speed limit to pass them, you should not pass them. By providing sufficient distance, you allow the person biking to continue without concern for their safety confidently. You might prevent a crash if the bicyclist were to fall or to maneuver around an obstacle. When you see a bicyclist ahead, the first thing you should do is slow down. As you prepare to pass, make sure the road is clear so you can pass safely. When passing, leave three feet or more and do not speed up. Give the bicyclist plenty of room before merging back into your lane. Remember to be patient and do not honk or yell.
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