Share the Road

AAA Traffic Safety Team

Bicycles are a legitimate form of transportation and bicyclists are legal drivers of vehicles, with laws and regulations established for their use. Yet many bicyclists feel they are not respected by motorists and must fight for their place on the road. Like motorists, cyclists need space to safely operate in traffic. This requires mutual respect, which can be promoted by public information, motorist education programs and legal measures.

Traveling on roads requires care and courtesy—whether you are operating a car or a bicycle.

  • Did you know bicyclists can ride on all roads, except where restricted? Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, including the right to ride in the traffic lane.
  • It is illegal and unsafe for bicyclists to ride against (or facing) traffic. Bicyclists should ride on the road, and must ride in the same direction as traffic.
  • Motorists must maintain at least three feet of clearance when passing a bicyclist.
  • When a road is too narrow for cars and bikes to ride safely side by side, bicycles should take the travel lane, which means riding in or near the center of the lane.
  • Bicyclists must obey all traffic controls, signs and signals. It’s the law.

Know the Facts

  • In most states, a bicycle is considered a “vehicle” (like cars, trucks and motorcycles). All bike riders must obey the same laws as drivers of other vehicles.
  • Many pedestrian crossings are marked with signs saying “Yield to Pedestrians,” reminding motorists that pedestrians have the right-of-way. However, motorists must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks even if they’re not marked.
  • The biggest difference between motorists and bicyclists as road users is that bicyclists are less visible, quieter and don’t have a crumple zone to protect them.


  • Stay alert—avoid all distractions while driving.
  • Yield to bicyclists when turning.
  • In bad weather, give bicyclists extra passing room, just as you would other motorists.
  • Look for bicyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic.
  • Slow down and give at least 3 feet of clearance when passing bicyclists, especially when the road is narrow.
  • NEVER honk your horn at bicyclists—it could cause them to swerve into traffic or off the roadway and crash.
  • Always check for bicyclists before opening your car door.
  • Children on bicycles are often unpredictable—expect the unexpected.


  • Ride on the roadway or shared pathways, rather than on sidewalks.
  • Follow the same rules of the road as other roadway users, including riding in the same direction as traffic and obeying traffic signs and signals.
  • Signal all turns.
  • Wear a bicycle helmet every time and on every ride.
  • Be visible by wearing bright colors during the day and reflective gear in low light conditions, and use head and tail lights at night.
  • Remember that respect is a two way street. Show motorists the same courtesy that you expect from them.

Learn more at

AAA Bicycle Roadside Assistance