In Ohio, there are all kinds of vehicles that you’ll have to share the road with.
And if you’re a new driver, it can be quite scary.
Don’t worry – we’re here to tell you about the Ohio road rules or the rules on how to share the road.
We’ll look at how to share the road with:
- Emergency vehicles
- Slow-moving vehicles
- School buses
This way, you won’t panic and know exactly what to do when you drive alongside them.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
How to Share the Road with Pedestrians
Pedestrians are always at risk when crossing. Aside from not having any protection, they’re also easy to miss.
As a driver, it’s your responsibility to be alert to people on the road and to make sure that they cross safely.
Here’s how you can share the road with pedestrians:
- If you see people on the sidewalk, be prepared for them to cross anytime. And yes, this is whether the traffic signal is red or green.
- Leave the crosswalks open. Never park or stop in these areas.
- Yield to pedestrians even when you are allowed to go. Pass after they have exited the road.
- Pedestrians who have a red or white cane or a service dog may have sight disabilities. Always let them pass safely before proceeding.
- Follow speed limits so you can easily stop and yield to pedestrians.
- When you’re in a school zone, be cautious of children on the side of the road.
How to Share the Road with Motorcycles
Motorcycles have more protection than pedestrians — but since they are prone to lose balance, driving alongside them requires caution and alertness.
Here are some road rules to follow:
- Give them the full width of the lane. Motorcycles should be treated like four-wheeled vehicles.
- Do not assume that a motorcycle will turn when you see its turn signals on. The motorcyclist might have forgotten to turn it off after they made a turn.
- Leave a bigger following distance between you and the motorcyclist.
- Look to your sides before making a turn. A motorcycle might be approaching.
- Motorcyclists may need to avoid potholes, slippery surfaces, and grooved parts of the road. Allow them some space to safely avoid these hazards.
How to Share the Road with Bicycles
Did you know that bicycles are also considered vehicles in Ohio?
And because of that, you need to follow these road rules when driving alongside them:
- If you need to pass a bicyclist, slow down and give them space before passing.
- Be alert for their hand gestures for turning and stopping. Remember, bicycles don’t have any signals.
- You are required to be 3 feet apart from a bicyclist.
- Avoid turning sharply in front of a bicyclist. They may be startled or lose balance.
- Do not speed past a bicyclist. Pass carefully and return to your lane when there’s enough distance between you.
- Avoid sounding your horn at them, unless necessary.
- Check for bicyclists before making a turn.
How to Share the Road with Trucks
Unlike the first 3 we mentioned, trucks are a lot larger than your vehicle. So you need to protect yourself from them.
Here are important things to remember when driving alongside a truck:
- A truck’s blindspots are directly above, behind, and beside the front row. To be seen, you have to drive a few meters in front and at the back. If you’re driving on the side, make sure that you’re further back.
- Commercial vehicles take time to stop because of their weight and size. Always leave a large distance between you and them.
- If you need to pass, turn on your signal and make sure that you are visible to the driver. Pass quickly when it’s safe to do so.
- Give trucks a larger space when they are making a turn. Move to the side to avoid getting hit. Don’t try to squeeze between the truck and the curb.
How to Share the Road with Emergency Vehicles
Emergency vehicles on-duty display red flashing lights and turn on a siren. When this is the case, here’s what to do:
- Move to the right side of the road and let them pass. Make a stop if necessary.
- Never block their way even at the intersection.
- You are required by law to move to an adjacent lane or slow down when you are passing a stopped police vehicle or another emergency vehicle.
- Yield the right of way when driving alongside an emergency vehicle.
How to Share the Road with Slow-Moving Vehicles
Slow-moving vehicles are marked with orange triangular signs found at the back of the car. These vehicles are usually farm equipment, animal-drawn vehicles, and construction equipment.
Follow these guidelines when driving alongside slow-moving vehicles:
- Pass with caution. Leave space before you pass so that the driver will not get startled.
- You are allowed to cross the solid yellow line to pass a slow-moving vehicle if the latter is driving at half the speed of the posted speed limit.
- Avoid honking at animal-drawn vehicles.
How to Share the Road with School Buses
Driving alongside a school bus has special laws that you have to follow. If not, then you will face huge fines and maybe even license suspension.
Let’s detail this below:
- School buses turn on their red flashing lights to signify they are picking up or dropping off children. They may also put out a stop sign.
- If the stop sign is shown and the school bus is stopped, all vehicles traveling in all directions are required to stop if there are less than four lanes. Vehicles must stop at least 10 feet away from the front or back of the school bus.
- If there is no stop sign but the school bus is stopped, you are still required to stop.
- If there are four or more lanes, only traffic going in the same direction is required to stop.
- You can only proceed once the stop sign is retracted or the school bus starts moving again.
And that is the Ohio road rules on how to share the road.
Remember, when you drive alongside these vehicles, you should never panic. Just keep a safe distance, let them know your next move, yield the right of way, and stop to avoid any crashes or violations.
As you gain more experience, you’ll soon be confident sharing the road — but don’t be too confident that you’re no longer careful.
Remember, always be a safe and responsible driver!