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You Drive? Then You Should Know These 5 Tips to be a Better Bike Ally in Salt Lake County

Posted By Regional Development
May 19, 2021

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We've all likely heard the refrain at some point in our adult lives ... "Utah drivers are the worst."

While you and I might not technically be ranked the worst in the nation, there are some simple things we can learn to be better allies to neighbors who are biking on Salt Lake County roads.

So, participate in National Bike Month, even if you stick to four wheels, by checking out these five tips.

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1. "Don't (Drive) Too Close to Me"

Keep 3 feet of distance between your vehicle and bicyclists. What does that look like? When you pass, you should be able to fit the width of a table ... or Danny DeVito ... or 30 Bibles between your vehicle and the bicyclist. The 3-feet rule is actually in Utah state code (the Danny DeVito part isn't).

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2. Cool Your Wheels

While you're in your vehicle next to a bicyclist, now is not the time to pick up Jazz hands, honk, or harass the other party.

Distracting them on purpose can cause serious injury, and it's against the law in Utah.

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3. Checking twice is nice

Look twice before turning left or right. This might be normal practice already; but chances are, you're usually just looking for other vehicles ... and not approaching bicyclists, which can be harder to see.

 

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4. Door's Wide Open

As motorists, we might not think about it being a big deal to open our car door and get out when parked on a street. (After all, the hard part of parallel parking is over.) But, quickly opening your door can be a danger to a potential cyclist passing by, causing them to swerve from their path.

No one wants to closeline their neighbor, so just do a quick mirror check, yeah?

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5. A Fair Brake

We share the road, and both have equal rights to it. Cars and trucks might be bigger, but bicyclists have just as much right to be there. This means drivers have to be courteous and careful while we're behind the wheel.

Plus, more and more Utahns are choosing to ride bikes for transportation and for fun since the pandemic, which means there are more cyclists on the road. 

Learn more about Salt Lake County Bicycle Advisory Committee (SLCBAC) and the work these local volunteers do to make the county more bicycle-friendly!