Sharing the Road is a Driver's
November 17, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (03-165)
For more information, contact:
KDOT Bureau of Traffic Safety: (785) 296-3756
Sharing the Road is a Driver's Responsibility
As drivers of automobiles, we are required to share the road with a variety
of others using alternative means of transportation – everything from
feather-light ten-speed bicycles to ponderous 18-wheel semi trailers.
That makes driving even more of a challenge, and highlights the need to always
be aware and focused on driving when behind the wheel.
The Bureau of Traffic Safety of the Kansas Department of Transportation encourages
drivers to observe the following tips as they share the road with others:
- Give bicyclists the benefit of the doubt, whether or not the cyclist is
obeying traffic regulations. Bicylists are extremely vulnerable, and any collision
between a car and a bicyclist is likely to cause serious injury to the bicyclist.
- As you approach a bicyclist from behind, slow down. Bicyclists sometimes
have to swerve to avoid road hazards such as glass or gravel that are inconsequential
to cars. Young bicyclists also tend to make unexpected changes in direction.
- When passing a cyclist, allow at least four feet of clearance, and don’t
return to your original lane until you can see the cyclist in your rear view
- If you're preparing to turn right and a cyclist is riding between you and
the side of the road, be sure the rider knows your intention and is not in
- If you park on a roadway, make sure to check for bicyclists before opening
your car door.
- Just as bicylists are vulnerable to automobiles, automobile drivers are
extremely vulnerable to trucks. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration, in crashes involving large trucks, the occupants of a car,
usually the driver, sustain 78 percent of fatalities.
- Give trucks a "wide berth" and know a trucker driver's "blind
spots." If you as an automobile driver can't see the driver's side-view
mirror of a truck, the truck driver can't see your car.
- When passing, wait until you can see both truck headlights in your rear
view mirror before you pull back into the same lane of traffic the truck is
- Never cross behind a truck that is backing up.
- Avoid cutting in front of other vehicles, as that could cause emergency
braking by other vehicles, including large trucks, in the vicinity. A fully-loaded
semi trailer traveling at 55 mph takes almost three hundred feet to stop.
For more information about the Kansas Driving: Safe. Not Sorry program contact
the KDOT Bureau of Traffic Safety at 785-296-3756 or on the web at www.ksdot.org
and click on the green safety button.