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Cyclists: You have a right to be on the roads, too

In Iowa, it's required that the roads are shared with cyclists. That means that drivers need to be respectful of cyclists and know they have a right to be on the roads.

Motorists should follow a few simple rules to prevent bicycling accidents. First, they should never honk at a bicyclist; this is because the sudden noise can startle a cyclist and make him or her lose control. Second, when motorists pass cyclists, they should make sure to move entirely into the left lane on a two-lane road. If there is oncoming traffic approaching, it may be best to wait until the traffic passes.

Drivers should remember that cyclists need to swerve to avoid problems on the road. For instance, if there is a hazard like a pothole or railroad track, the cyclist may need to swerve to avoid crashing. In a car, a driver may not need to do this, but bicycles can become unbalanced and crash if they hit these hazards.

Drivers should also be careful when they open their doors. If a driver opens the door when a cyclist doesn't have time to get out of the way, it can result in a serious head-on collision for the cyclist.

When drivers are in doubt about the rules of the road, they should always yield to cyclists. Failing to do so can lead to serious accidents; in most cases, it's the cyclist who will suffer most of all.

Our website has more information on bicycling in Iowa and the laws that protect you. You deserve to feel safe when you're on the roads, no matter what vehicle you choose.

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