In recent years, the number of cyclists on the roads has increased significantly. Not only is it a cheaper and healthier way to travel, but cities such as London are now offering bike hire schemes and cycle lanes that make travelling on two wheels easier than ever. While cycling is generally considered a safe activity, collisions and accidents with motorists do happen and thousands of cyclists killed or seriously injured on our roads each year.
To make our roads safer for everyone, here are seven tips for driving around cyclists.
So, again, here’s our advice on how to share the road safely with cyclists:
- It may sound very obvious, but use your indicators in good time. Cyclists won’t know what you intend to do purely from your road position, so give them (and other road users, of course) the clear signal they need.
- When you’re doing any kind of turning, look out for cyclists. They can often be hidden behind other vehicles or in your blind spot. Use your mirrors and check all around you before you begin any manoeuvre.
- It’s often very difficult to see cyclists, especially when they’re coming up behind you, coming out of junctions, making their way around roundabouts, overtaking you or filtering through traffic. Always look out for them before you emerge from a junction; they could be approaching faster than you think.
- When you’re overtaking cyclists, give them as much space as you possibly can. The Highway Code says to give them as much room as you’d give a car. That may sound a lot, but they won’t necessarily be able to travel in a nice straight line, because of the road or weather conditions. If there isn’t enough space to pass a cyclist safely, then don’t attempt to do it.
- As well as giving signals, cyclists will sometimes give you clues to their intentions. For example, if they look over their shoulder, it could mean that they‘re about to pull out, turn right or change direction. Give them the time and space to do what they need to do.
- Remember that, with no covering to protect them from the elements, cyclists are much more likely to be affected by road and weather conditions. Whatever you do, don’t drive too close to them – they may suddenly veer out to avoid a pothole or be blown off course by strong winds.
- Always check for passing cyclists before you open your car door.
- Some traffic lights have advanced stop lines that allow cyclists to get to the front and increase their visibility. If the lights are amber or red, stop at the first white line you reach, and allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green light shows.
So there you have it. Put all this into practice the next time you encounter a cyclist and you should feel a whole lot more confident about sharing the road with them