Safe in 60: Rules for sharing the road with pedestrians & bicyclists

Jul 2, 2018, 7:00 AM | Updated: 1:32 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — During the summer months, more pedestrians and bicyclists are on the roads and sidewalks.

As you share the road, here is something to keep in mind: pedestrians and bicyclists make up 16 percent of traffic fatalities according to the Federal Highway Administration. That equals 5,000 pedestrian deaths and 800 bicycle deaths each year.

When you get behind the wheel, here are a few reminders to help make this a safe summer for everyone:

  1. Watch for pedestrians and slow down when driving next to parked or stopped vehicles. By the time you see them, you may have very little reaction time.
  2. If there is a vehicle stopped in the roadway, make sure they’re not waiting for a pedestrian to cross before you just go around them.
  3. Double and triple check for pedestrians when turning at any intersection.
  4. Always check for pedestrians behind you, especially when backing up in parking lots.
  5. Slow down around parks, schools and residential areas.

According to the Utah Driver Handbook, pedestrians always have the right-of-way in marked or unmarked crosswalks. But always yield to a pedestrian, even if they are not in a crosswalk.

A vehicle must also yield to any pedestrian on the sidewalk when turning into a business or driveway.

Bicycles are considered vehicles, and must follow the same traffic rules as a car. However, bicyclists can be hard to see in traffic, and they have varying skill levels. Drivers should be especially alert when driving hear bicyclists.

When a bicycle path or bike lane crosses a roadway, a driver must yield right-of-way to the bicyclist.

As both a pedestrian and a driver this summer, let’s all work together to take the extra time to ensure the safety of those around us.

Additional Resources:

Utah Department of Health – Pedestrian Safety

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Pedestrian Safety

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Safe in 60: Rules for sharing the road with pedestrians & bicyclists