In an effort to go ‘green’, more people are pulling their bicycles out of the shed and battling the elements, ‘saddle sore’ and erratic driving behaviour for their daily commute. Weaving through traffic and avoiding potholes is no easy feat and a flimsy bicycle frame offers no protection against a car. We have put together some tips to help keep both drivers and cyclists safe, and the daily commute less stressful for everyone.
1. Article 10 of the Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations 1997, states that a driver shall not overtake, or attempt to overtake, if doing so will endanger, or cause inconvenience to, any other person. Simply put, if you are attempting to overtake, make sure there is no car approaching from the opposite direction and you leave enough space between you and the cyclist. Give at least 1 metre clearance when over taking a cyclist in areas of 50km/h and under and 1.5 metres in areas of over 50km/h. You need this space in case the cyclist swerves to avoid uneven ground or a gust of wind pushes them off course while you are overtaking them.
2. You may be running late but tailgating a cyclist will not get you there any quicker, it could actually result in an accident. Apart from how terrifying it must be for a cyclist to have a car driving that close to them, if there were to brake suddenly you are in danger of seriously hurting them. Be respectful of their place on the road and slow down to allow them adequate space. When it is safe to do so, carefully overtake them.
3. Drive at a considerate speed when around cyclist. Don’t accelerate too quickly or brake suddenly (without good reason) as this can be distracting. Cyclists always try to anticipate what a driver is going to do next in order to navigate their commute safely.
4. At junctions and roundabouts, look for cyclists as well as cars. If making a left turn, check your mirrors and blindspot to make sure there is no cyclist coming up on the inside, as they may be intending to go straight through the junction. On roundabouts, yield to cyclists and let them exit the roundabout. Do not try to overtake them on the roundabout.
5. When exiting your car, look over your shoulder to check for approaching cyclists before you open the door. Ask you passengers to do the same thing. A cyclist won’t have time to stop and will collide with your car door, causing serious injury to themselves.
6. Do not park or pull over temporarily in cycle lanes because this forces cyclists to pull out onto the main stream of traffic. This puts the cyclist in danger and may cause an accident.
Cyclists depend daily on the responsible behaviour of drivers to not obstruct and endanger them on the road. If a collision occurs, cyclists are more vulnerable and more liable to be injured than the occupant of a car. Drivers and cyclist can coexist safely by respecting each other’s right to be on the road and remembering that it’s better to be late than in an accident. Make sure you are with the best insurer to cover you in the unfortunate event of an accident. Get a car insurance quote online today.