It is important for motorists to practice careful and cautious driving every day, especially when sharing the road with cyclists; during recent years, the UK’s cycling community has increased rapidly. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the involvement of cyclists in road accidents has escalated, with over 100 deaths and more than 3,000 injuries reported in Britain each year. (Source: BBC)
You should always be aware of cyclists, keeping the roads safe and free from uneccessary accidents by following these helpful precautions:
Accept their limitations
Bicycles are lightweight and all cyclists have a maximum pace which they can hold – keep this in mind and give them time. More often than not, cyclists are not able to give advance signals since they need both hands to maintain control – slow down and expect sudden moves from them.
Keep a safe distance
Cyclists are allowed to use the full width of the lane to avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles, so give them enough space – do not drive too closely.
To avoid colliding with a cyclist, make sure that they see you before making a turn or overtaking.
Take extra caution at junctions
Some junctions have advanced stop lines dedicated to cyclists. Keep this space entirely open for them and allow them sufficient time to take off.
Always check for passing cyclists before opening the door of your vehicle
This is a common mistake. Cyclists have no idea when motorists are about to open their doors; the impact of the cyclist’s full speed on a car’s steel door can lead to serious injuries.
Give them the respect they deserve
Although faced with their fair share of vulnerabilities, cyclists have every right to be on the road… In fact, if you think about it the bicycle came before the car! Treat them with respect and be patient – remember to share the road with them.
“Patience is a virtue” may be a total cliché but it works 100% of the time! Avoid accidents and disputes on the road by being a cautious and responsible driver.
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