Driving Near Bicyclists
Drivers are encouraged to share the road and be on the lookout for bicyclists because they are smaller than motor vehicles and are often more difficult to see. These characteristics make them more vulnerable when riding on the road.
When driving a vehicle, you must:
- Exercise due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian or bicyclist (SC Code Sec. 56-5-3230)
- Maintain a safe operating distance from the bicyclist (SC Code Sec. 56-5-3435)
- Refrain from harassing or throwing objects at the bicyclist. (SC Code Sec. 56-5-3445)
- NHTSA Safety Tips for Drivers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also provides these safety tips for drivers regarding pedestrian safety:
- Yield to bicyclists as you would motorists and do not underestimate their speed.
- In parking lots, at stop signs, when backing up, or when parking, search your surroundings for other vehicles, including bicycles.
- Drivers turning right on red should look to the right and behind to avoid hitting a bicyclist approaching from the right rear.
- Obey the speed limit, reduce speed for road conditions and drive defensively to avoid a crash with a cyclist.
- Give cyclists room. Do not pass too closely. Pass bicyclists as you would any other vehicle—when it’s safe to move over into an adjacent lane.
*NHTSA Bicycle Safety - https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicycle-safety.
When You Are a Bicyclist
Bicyclists should remember, when you are riding a bicycle, you have the same duties and privileges of a motor vehicle when on a public roadway. Unlike pedestrians, who should walk facing traffic, bicyclists should ride with the flow of traffic and obey all traffic laws.
If you ride a bicycle on a roadway, especially at dawn or at dusk, consider wearing retro-reflective clothing to help increase your chances of being seen by motorists
When riding a bicycle, you must:
- Ride as a vehicle, ride with traffic, and obey all traffic signs.
- Ride as far to the right as practical.
- If a bike lane is present, stay in the bike lane unless your destination lies in a different direction.
- For instance, if you need to pass another bicyclist, turn left, or if a roadway obstruction exists, you would move outside of the bike lane.
- If you are riding in a group, do no ride more than two side-by-side.
- If you are riding your bike after dark, use lights and reflectors to help increase your chances of being seen by motorists.
For more information on laws pertaining to bicyclists, please visit Code of Laws - Title 56 - Chapter 5 - Uniform Act Regulating Traffic On Highways, Article 27.