Cycling is a great way to stay active and fit, and if done regularly can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and contribute to your life expectancy. Yet, many people don’t cycle due to safety concerns of road cycling, and fear of other drivers treating them badly.
Whether you’re a driver, cyclist or both, understanding other road users can lead to safer roads and less conflict, so RoSPA offers helpful tips and advice for sharing the roads together.
Perhaps being able to share the road starts with understanding other road users. From a driver’s point of view:
- They find it very difficult to see cyclists who don’t use lights at night
- They get annoyed when cyclists ignore traffic lights
- They get dazzled when very bright cycle lights are not adjusted correctly
- They get annoyed when cyclists ride two abreast (even though it’s not illegal)
- They sometimes find it difficult to predict what a cyclist is going to do
- They don’t always understand why cyclists sometimes ride in the middle of the lane
- When driving large vehicles, they find it very difficult to see cyclists on their nearside, even with all their extra mirrors
From a cyclist’s point of view:
- They feel threatened by inconsiderate driving
- They need to keep away from the gutter to avoid pot holes and debris
- They feel exposed when turning right
- They feel very threatened by close overtaking
- They are not deliberately trying to get in your way and slow you down
- When they are riding in the middle of their lane, this is so they can see and be seen better, and often because there isn’t room for drivers to overtake them safely
- Large vehicles pose a very high risk to them, especially when the vehicle turns left at the junction
When heading out on the road, it is key to plan ahead and anticipate the actions of fellow road users. Cyclists are most likely to be injured at junctions, roundabouts, where the road narrows (pinch points) and near left turning HGV.
As a driver, it’s important to know how best to safely share the road, and with this knowledge how best to put it into practice. Drivers should be aware of blind spots and left turns, even more so if you are feeling less observant and alert – this may be an issue first thing in the morning or late at night. When overtaking, you should allow plenty of room, large vehicles create a wind draft which can affect a cyclist’s stability. Drivers should always expect to see cyclist’s on the roads, so be sure you are using your mirror and any sensors fitted to your vehicle effectively.
As a cyclist, there are things you can do to make drivers feel safer and more comfortable around you. It always helps to think ahead and plan your route. You should always make yourself visible in poor lighting with high visibility clothing and bicycle lights, and avoid riding down the inside of LGV.
Both cyclists and drivers need to understand the importance of giving good, clear signals to tell other road users when you intend to change lane or direction. By adopting these simple safety steps into your journeys you can ensure you’re doing the best you can to safely share the road.
Whilst care has been taken in the production of this article and the information contained within it has been obtained from sources that Aon UK Limited believes to be reliable, Aon UK Limited does not warrant, represent or guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or fitness for any purpose of the article or any part of it and can accept no liability for any loss incurred in any way whatsoever by any person who may rely on it. In any case any recipient shall be entirely responsible for the use to which it puts this article. This article has been compiled using information available to us up to 13/12/18.
This article is part of series on risk management advice for hauliers. Other articles in this can be found at the bottom of the page:
The risk of answering calls while driving
Using a hand-held or hands-free mobile phone while driving is a significant distraction, and substantially increases the risk of the driver crashing.
The benefits of in vehicle cameras
In Vehicle cameras are an excellent addition to your fleet as they can improve and maintain your drivers and fleets high standard of performance.
Tips for driving in the winter
With the impending weather change and darker evenings during the winter months, drivers should be extra attentive to what’s happening around them and be prepared to adapt to diverse weather, road and traffic conditions.