Oregon drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles in a manner that keeps everyone safe on the road. There are many things that increase the risk of an accident and driving among bicyclists is one of them. They are harder to see, and it is sometimes difficult to estimate their speed or riding intentions, so it is a good idea to follow certain tips when in their vicinity.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, bicyclists have their own rules of the road that they should follow. They should understand that they are harder to see, and they should practice defensive riding. This includes staying out of blind spots of other vehicles.
Bicyclists must also follow the same traffic laws as other motorists. This means riding with the flow of traffic and obeying stop lights and traffic signs. They should also announce their intentions by using the proper hand signals. Wearing bright clothing, as well as using head- and taillights will help other drivers see them, and wearing a helmet can help decrease the severity of injuries in the event of a crash.
Bicycling.com outlines some tips for other motorists. One is to look over their left shoulder before opening the car door in the event a bike is coming up close to the vehicle. Another is to look over the right shoulder before taking a right to ensure there is not a bike riding in the bike lane or road.
Another tip is to give bicyclists enough room. When passing, make sure to give them a minimum of three feet between them and the vehicle. It is also best to lay off the horn unless it is an emergency, as the sound can be very loud and alarming for riders.