Ecology Action in Santa Cruz developed a safety brochure to help cyclists safely share the road with large trucks.
I don’t usually get too excited about most cycling issues that get passed along as an important safety issue, but truck safety is a biggie for me. I see some really bone-headed moves among some cyclists when they navigate around large trucks / lorries. When you squeeze through traffic and bump a car, you’ll probably live. If you zip through a red light and get hit by an SUV, the SUV driver probably already hit the brakes to at least slow a little before nailing you. For either of those scenarios against a truck, though, all bets are off.
I imagine Ecology Action published this brochure because of the very heavy truck traffic with substandard width lanes on Mission Street (aka California State Route 1) through Santa Cruz.
You can download the full brochure from EcoAct.org in both Spanish and English. The mains points:
- Don’t pass on the right (for nations where driving is the to right; flip these if you drive on the left). Some trucks have a sign on the back with:
<-- PASSING SIDE | SUICIDE -->
- Avoid the truck driver’s substantial blind spots. If you find yourself caught in the blind spot, don’t dawdle there.
- Don’t squeeze too closely by a truck.
- Take the lane for safety where necessary.
- Be visible.
- Ride legally and predictably.
This advice mostly applies for city buses as well, though their blind spots aren’t nearly so bad. I frequently see cyclists in San Jose pulling up at intersections alongside VTA buses with the right turn blinker indicating a turn. Go to the left of the bus — or stay behind — when you see that. When I pass a stopped bus, I pass well left of the bus to ensure the driver sees me.
Ecology Action: Bicycle Safety Around Trucks brochures.