Hit-and-Run Reminds Drivers to Share the Road with Cyclists

In February, Waterbar Restaurant bartender, Alexandra “Alex” Tamez was critically injured in a hit-and-run accident while leaving work on her bicycle and heading home. A driver crashed into her in the Bayview around 3rd & Fairfax and then fled the scene, leaving Tamez with traumatic injuries, according to KPIX-TV.

This disturbing incident involving a much-loved San Francisco citizen offers a stark reminder of the importance of drivers learning how to share the road with

cyclists before tragedy strikes. “There are more than half a million collisions between cars and bikes in the United States every year, and many are the result of motorists’ failure to properly yield,” according to AAA safety expert Rhonda Shah in Via Magazine.

In the Via Magazine article, Shah shares her advice to drivers on how to drive safely when encountering cyclists on the road. Following her advice below could save a life. Here are her tips:

Share the Road: When out and about, drivers need to be ever-mindful of sharing the road with cyclists.

Follow the 3 ft. Rule: Maintain a distance of 36 in. from cyclists whenever passing them. If possible, keep an even wider berth if there’s bad weather or if in a higher speed limit zone.

Be Cautious with Kids: Kids can be unpredictable since their motor skills and decision-making faculties aren’t fully developed. Be on the alert when driving near schools and residential areas.

Stay Off the Horn: Sudden honking might startle a cyclist and can cause them to swerve into traffic or off the road.

Mind Your Blind Spots: Drivers should double-check their mirrors when changing lanes, making turns and especially before opening their car door after parking.

Be Patient: Don’t tailgate a cyclist. When you need to pass one, patiently wait until it’s safe to do so.

“When it comes to safely sharing the road with cyclists, it’s critical for drivers to learn how to coexist,” said SF SAFE Executive Director Kyra Worthy. Click here for info on SF SAFE’s SAFE Bikes program.