Entering the Roadway - California Bicycle Coalition

Entering the Roadway

Understanding the risks

A driver cannot slow, stop or move out of your way quickly enough when you ride into the roadway from an unexpected place or without waiting your turn. This is a common cause of collisions for bicyclists.

Because of poor visibility, entering the roadway from between parked cars is never safe and should be avoided.

Knowing your options

Respecting the right of way of other vehicles is the key to reducing your risks. As you enter the roadway – either at a corner or from a driveway — you’re required by law to yield the right of way to other vehicles already on the roadway.

Using the 5 skills

These are the skills you use to reduce your risks when entering the roadway:

Handling

  • You can safely slow down or stop to check traffic before entering the roadway.
  • When it’s your turn to enter the roadway and it’s safe to do so, you can begin pedaling and accelerate without delay.

Cooperation

  • You choose a place to enter the street where you’re visible and where a driver would expect to see you.
  • You yield to any moving traffic on the street you are entering.
  • You know the correct lane to use on the street you’re entering.
  • You try to make eye contact with an approaching driver to ensure that you’re seen.
  • You use a headlight and tail light when riding after dark.

Positioning

  • When entering a street from a corner or a wide driveway, you position your bicycle to show which direction you plan to go.

Responsiveness

  • You check ahead to see where you can move, stop or turn to avoid a driver who fails to slow down or stop as you enter the roadway.

Protection

  • You know your helmet and gloves will prevent or reduce injuries in case of a fall.

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