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Sharing the Road

Drivers Icon Teaching Your Teen to Drive

Sharing the road

Sharing the road means being a courteous, alert and knowledgeable driver, making the roads safer for all. Bicycles, motorcycles, buses, trucks and pedestrians all deserve a share of the road.

Bicycles and motorcycles

Motorists must be on the lookout for bicycles and motorcycles and anticipate sudden and unexpected moves from them. Motorcycles are entitled to the same full lane width as other vehicles.

Bicycles and motorcycles are smaller, harder to see and can move faster and stop faster than expected. Their control is more easily hampered by road defects and debris. You should watch for bicycles and motorcycles, use extra caution when driving around either and increase your following distance.

Pedestrians

Pedestrians are those people standing, walking or using a wheelchair on public streets, highways and private property. Pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks and intersections whether the crosswalks are marked or not.

Trucks

If you cut in front of another vehicle, you may create an emergency-braking situation for the vehicles around you, especially in heavy traffic. Trucks and buses take much longer to stop in comparison to cars. When passing, look for the front of the truck in your rearview mirror before pulling in front, and avoid braking situations.

Large trucks have blind spots, or “no-zones”, around the front, back, and sides of the vehicle. These No-Zones make it difficult for the driver to see. Avoid being caught in a truck’s no-zone. If you can’t see the truck driver in the truck’s mirror, the truck driver can’t see you.

Be careful of trucks making wide right turns. If you try to get in between the truck and the curb, you’ll be caught in a “squeeze” crash. Truck drivers sometimes need to swing wide to the left in order to safely negotiate a right turn. They can’t see cars directly behind or beside them. Cutting in between the truck and the curb increases the possibility of a crash. So pay attention to truck signals, and give them lots of room to maneuver.

Work zones

Work zones can be very dangerous, especially when traveling on the highway. It’s important to be alert and prepared to slow down or stop in a work zone. Slowing down and allowing others to merge will ensure a safe passage through work zones. Here are a few tips on work zone safety:

  • Stay alert: Work zones are busy places where construction vehicles and workers are always moving. Be alert, and stay on the safe path that is designated throughout the work zone.
  • Take your cues from trucks: Work zones often pop up suddenly. If you are not paying attention to the signs, you could find yourself in a serious accident. Since trucks have a height advantage and can see ahead of traffic, their brake light activity can provide a good signal of a slow-down or work zone ahead.
  • Merge gently: Aggressive drivers can be extremely dangerous while driving in work zones. Work zones require time and courtesy. For a smooth passage through work zones, allow others to merge in front of you. Be especially considerate to trucks. They require more space to merge and are the least maneuverable vehicles on the road.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Emergency vehicles

When you hear sirens and see flashing lights, you should get out of the way as quickly and safely as possible. First, check the traffic around you and slow down. If traffic allows, signal and then pull to the right, clear of an intersection, and stop. Remain there until the emergency vehicle has passed.