Lockdown has seen a surge in the amount of cyclists on the road with a lot people having more spare time on their hands.
Cycling is a greener mode of transport. It’s a healthy pastime and for some people cycling is their only option for getting around. It’s in all our interests for cyclists and drivers to get along when sharing the road.
These tips could help drivers to deal with cyclists in such a way to keep all concerned safe.
⁃ Be aware to see them early. This might sound obvious, but the earlier you see them, the more time you’ll have to deal with cyclists safely.
⁃ Slow down. This is especially important on faster roads. Slowing down will give you the time to assess the situation and act safely.
⁃ Anticipate. Expect cyclists to be anywhere, for example, around blind bends. This will help you to deal with the situation safely, should it arise.￼
⁃ Take into account the weather conditions. Example if it is a windy day expect the cyclist to be less stable.
⁃ Predict. Try to predict the path in which the cyclist might have to go next. Will they have to go round the parked car or swerve to avoid a Pothole?
⁃ Have a look in your mirrors for cyclists before carrying out the manoeuvre.
⁃ Remember when you’re giving way to your right at roundabouts that this applies to cyclists too.
⁃ When a cyclist is turning￼ from a main road to a side road on the right, wait behind for them to turn, as you would for a car. Try not to squeeze through on the left. This could be risky.
⁃ Remember when you’re assessing the speed of a cyclist to give yourself enough time to make an accurate assessment. Consider that they could be travelling quicker than you think – around 20mph.
⁃ Don’t assume it will be safe.
In the same way that you would plan to overtake another vehicle, apply the same principle. Ask yourself is it safe, legal and necessary. An example would be, if you have to cross a solid white line in the middle of the road, this would not be legal. (Unless the cyclist was travelling at 10mph or less)
⁃ If it’s not safe to overtake, hold back.
Leave the cyclist enough room so that if they become unstable, you could stop in time to avert danger.
⁃ Be patient. Vehicles behind might get impatient and want you to get round the cyclist straight away. Remember you are helping the situation by waiting for the safest opportunity.
⁃ If you don’t know don’t go! Following on from the previous points, if there’s any doubt about the safety of the overtake, wait until you are 100% sure. This could prevent a serious incident.
⁃ Leave, “plenty” of room when overtaking.
The Highway Code doesn’t state a minimum legal distance when overtaking cyclists. It talks about, “at least as much room as you would a car.”
Too much room is better than not enough, if you can see it’s safe well ahead.
⁃ Make sure you can see the cyclist in your mirrors before come back in after overtaking. This helps you to avoid cutting in too soon.
Hopefully these points will help drivers to deal with potentially hazardous cyclist situations more safely and equip you with more helpful driver knowledge.