Sharing The Road With Cyclists

November 15, 2021

Well, hello, fellow motorist! Today we are going to talk about a very polarizing topic: Cyclists. 

Everyone has an opinion when it comes to bicycles on the road. Maybe you're a motorist annoyed with cyclists that won't "just stay on the sidewalk." Or perhaps you're the cyclist that's sick of drivers that don't give you your lawful "3 feet of space." But no matter what side of the debate you may find yourself on, we all just want to get to our destination safely. So, since knowledge is power, read on for tips on safely sharing the road with cyclists and maybe even minimizing some of the frustrations. 


Cycling Hand Signals 

We all know how important communication is when we're driving. Being cut off by a thoughtless driver that's forgotten their car comes with a blinker is not only aggravating but dangerous. But what if someone had their "blinker" on, but you just didn't understand what it meant? 

Whether you're on a bicycle or behind the wheel, having a good grasp of cycling hand signals can save lives. 

Here's an easy infographic of the most common cyclist hand signals. 

Cycling Hand Signals Demonstrated


Ohio Cycling Road Laws

Sometimes the laws are obvious and follow common sense. Other times you find out something is lawful, and you wind up giving yourself whiplash.

Read on for some Ohio cycling road laws of which you might not be aware. 


Bicycling and Sidewalks

  • Bicycles are considered vehicles under Ohio law, and state law prohibits locals from forcing cyclists to ride on the sidewalk. 
  • Most of Ohio's cities actually don't allow cyclists to ride on the sidewalk for the safety of pedestrians.


The Three Foot Law

  • Did you know that if you want to pass a cyclist on the road, Ohio law states you must allow a cushion of space of at least 3 ft during your passing maneuver? You neither, huh? 
    • Bottom line: if you don't have a minimum of 3 ft of space between you and the pedal pusher next to you, you're better off skipping that pass. 


The Ride To The Right Rule

We often think bicycle riders need to keep to the right side, but did you know there are exceptions to this rule? 

  • When roads are too narrow for the bicyclist to ride safely side-by-side with other vehicles (think of that 3 ft of space minimum), they have the right to ride in the middle of the road in front of you like any other vehicle. 
    • Note: Most Ohio roads are too narrow to be safely shared by a bicycle and a vehicle. 

Were you surprised to learn these rules? Read on here for more information on Ohio's laws regarding cyclists on the road. 

No matter what side of the road you find yourself on, you’re always safer with Althans Insurance on your side. It would be our pleasure to talk to you about any of your auto insurance needs.