How Do You Share the Road with a Bicyclist?

​The 2010 Florida Driver’s Handbook gives some excellent advice on how a motorist can share the road with a cyclist.

The Driver's Handbook says:

  • ​Allow a minimum of three feet of clearance when passing a cyclist and reduce your speed. On a two lane road, time your pass to not be next to the bicyclist at the same time as oncoming traffic is at the same location.
  • After parallel parking, check for bicyclists before opening a street-side door.
  • At night, avoid using high beam headlights when a cyclist is approaching. The cyclist could be temporarily blinded.
  • Do not follow a cyclist closely. If you are too close and the cyclist must slow suddenly in an emergency, you could run them over. Bicyclists are entitled to move away from the right side of a lane when that lane is too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle. Most travel lanes in Florida range from 10’ to 12’ wide and guidance indicates that a 14’ lane is a width that allows safe sharing with most motor vehicles. Wet roads impair a bicyclist’s ability to brake and maneuver. Potholes or railroad tracks often require bicyclists to change positions within their lane. When railroad tracks are skewed, the bicyclist must change directions in order to cross over the tracks at a ninety- degree angle or risk a fall.