Yes, we have to learn how to share the road.
Now, you’re probably familiar with how to share it with other vehicles.
But what about sharing the road with pedestrians?
That’s what we’re going to focus on today.
We’re going to show you the Pennsylvania rules of the road — how to share the road with unusual vehicles.
With this, you don’t need to panic every time you drive alongside these vehicles.
You’ll know EXACTLY what to do to keep everyone safe.
So let’s begin!
How to Share the Road with Pedestrians
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable on the road.
It’s up to us drivers to make sure that they’re safe.
So here’s what to do when there are pedestrians:
- Yield to pedestrians when they are crossing. Even if your traffic signal says go, always let them pass first.
- Do not block, stop, or park at a crosswalk. If the traffic signal is red, make sure you stop before the crosswalk.
- Reduce speed when there are children in the area. Children might end up crossing or getting their toys on the road. By slowing down, you can stop easily.
- When a vehicle is stopped in front of an intersection, do not pass them because there might be pedestrians crossing.
- Always observe school zone speed limits and traffic signs.
- Always check if there are pedestrians when you pass, park, back up, or open your door.
How to Share the Road with Bicycles
Bicyclists, like pedestrians, are also very vulnerable when there are vehicles around.
They’re much lighter and smaller, making it easy for them to lose their balance when they pass on potholes or debris.
If there are bicyclists on the road, here’s what to do:
- Yield to them before making a turn. Make sure that you give them space to turn too.
- Never park, stop, or drive on a bicycle lane.
- If you need to pass, check if there is enough space between you and the bicyclists. There should be at least 4 feet between you both.
- If there is only one lane, allow the bicyclist the whole space of the lane so they can maneuver and avoid hazards on the road.
- Don’t drive too close to a bicyclist.
How to Share the Road with Motorcycles and Mopeds
Did you know that motorcycles and mopeds are considered vehicles in Pennsylvania?
This means that they are also required to follow the traffic laws and signs applicable to any four-wheeled vehicle.
That said, they should be treated differently — you need to be more careful around them.
Here are some road rules on how to share the road with motorcycles/mopeds:
- You are required, by law, to give them the full width of the road.
- Before turning, look to your right or left if motorcycles or mopeds are turning. Let them pass first.
- Give a 4-second following distance between you and the motorcycle/moped. This will help you adjust if they change speed or lose balance due to road conditions.
- When there is a light flashing behind the motorcycle or moped, do not assume that they’re turning. Some lights do not automatically turn off even after a turn.
How to Share the Road with Trucks
And now for the bigger vehicles!
It’s sometimes scary to drive alongside trucks.
I know some people that panic every time there’s a huge truck around.
To stay safe, follow these rules of the road:
- Stay away from the truck’s blind spots. These areas are directly in front or the back, and directly beside the front area (right and left).
- Always place your vehicle in an area where you are seen. These areas will be the front diagonal sides and the back diagonal sides.
- Increase your following distance since trucks take longer to stop.
- If you need to pass, signal to the driver and pass quickly. Do not linger beside the truck.
- If a truck is planning to turn, do not stay beside them. Trucks need more space (sometimes two lanes) to make a full turn.
- When a truck is making a turn, do not try to squeeze in between the truck and the curb.
How to Share the Road with School Buses
Sharing the road with school buses has special rules:
- A school bus that is preparing to stop will flash yellow lights. If they’re already stopped, the flashing will be red and there will be a stop sign shown by the driver.
- If you see a school bus preparing to stop, slow down and prepare to stop behind them if you are traveling in the same direction. If you are traveling in the opposite direction, you are required to slow down and stop too.
- Remain stopped until the lights stop flashing and the stop sign is returned.
- You are not required to stop for a school bus if (and only if) you’re moving in the opposite direction and there is a median in between lanes.
How to Share the Road with Emergency Vehicles
You are required to give way to emergency vehicles when their red and blue flashing lights and sirens are turned on.
Here’s how to do it:
- Pull over to the curb or side of the road. Stay stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed.
- If you are on a one-lane road, pull over at the next roadside or stop and let the vehicle pass.
- Always check if other emergency vehicles are passing by before going.
How to Share the Road with Horse-Drawn Vehicles or Horse Riders
In the more rural areas, you’ll likely spot a horse-drawn vehicle or horse rider now and then.
Because we’re dealing with animals, it’s important to make sure they aren’t spooked.
Also, horse-drawn vehicles or horse riders don’t always have the brightest colors — it’s not easy to spot them, especially at night.
If you find yourself in this situation, here’s what to do:
- Leave plenty of room between you and the horse-drawn vehicle or horse rider.
- Do not honk at them. This might startle the horse.
- If you need to pass, leave a lot of space and make sure that there is a wide gap between you when you pass.
- Do not speed past these vehicles or horse riders. Again, you don’t want to spook the animals.
How to Share the Road with Snow Plows
In areas with heavy snow, you might encounter a snow plow.
One thing you need to know about snow plows is that it’s difficult for the driver to see others when they’re removing snow.
So if you’re driving alongside a snow plow, make sure that there’s a lot of distance between you and them.
This also helps you avoid any salt or snow thrown your way.
You should also avoid passing snow plows because they sometimes have wings that stick out to the sides.
How to Share the Road with Funeral Processions
If you see a funeral procession passing, the first thing to do is to yield.
Yes, even when they’re passing an intersection, you have to allow all the vehicles to pass before you enter the intersection.
Take note, that at any moment, you are not allowed to cut the procession or pretend to be part of it.
I know it can be a bit annoying. But you have to be patient and wait for the procession to drive away.
And those were the Pennsylvania rules of the road — how to share the road with others.
Remember, sharing the road is a necessary part of driving.
Without knowing how to share the road, it’s easy to hit and crash into people, vehicles, and other motorists.
So best to always know what to do and be mindful of your surroundings.