It isn’t only motorists that use the roads; nowadays you will see plenty of cyclists on riding while you take your journey. Therefore it is vital you know all about road safety when it comes to cyclists and motorcyclists.
What road safety do I need to know?
As road users, there are a few things we need to know about cyclists before we take our cars out for a drive. Many people have been put off cycling as they do not want to cycle through traffic and are also unsure of how drivers around them will react.
What do I need to know about cyclists?
First things first, you should always expect cyclist in unexpected areas and places this means as a driver you should be checking your mirrors often and especially before turning. If you check your mirrors correctly, you may also notice that more often than not a cyclist can often appear to the left of your vehicle. Accidents often occur where a cyclist comes up to your left as you are turning left and they wish to go straight on.
You must ensure you are giving as much room as you possibly can when overtaking a cyclist. As per highway code Rule 163 you should be one full cars width away. The width allows the cyclist to freely move if there is a drain, debris or pothole in the way.
When overtaking you should also take into consideration the width of the road, if you can see the road is narrowing ahead do not try and overtake the cyclist, you do not know how fast they could be travelling and may, in fact, push them off the road.
Cyclists can ride a lot faster than you may think, if they are riding every day and know how to ride a road bike properly they can often reach speeds of 20mph+, this means you need to always judge their approaching speed carefully before you decide to pull out.
Parking can sometimes be a right mission, but how many of you have really looked out for cyclists on the road before you park. You should be checking your mirrors regularly when parking especially your door mirrors, you should also look behind you before you start to reverse. Another thing to think about is opening your door, have you ever seen those comic strips where someone opens the door, and the guy fly’s off the bike because they cycled into it. Well, it can actually happen, so be sure to check before opening the doors.
Mirrors are extremely important when it comes to cyclist, you can also fail your MOT in Milton Keynes. They are not only there to keep you as safe as possible but also others on the road. Make sure you know our 360 observations, many people forget this after their driving lessons. If you would like more information on what a 360 observation is we recommend taking a look at driveJohnson’s definition.
Roundabouts work in a way that keeps the flow of traffic moving. You should always give way to vehicles on the right of you; this also includes cyclists. Many people assume they are faster than a cyclist and will pull out onto the roundabout causing a potential hazard.
Do not park in cycling lanes; you are only forcing them to use the road. You may also be causing a severe accident, cycle lanes are put in place for cyclists safety, by blocking them you could be putting someone in grave danger. It is also a traffic offence to park your vehicle in a cycle lane, Rule 140 of the Highway code states you are not permitted to park or drive on a cycling lane, you may also receive points on your licence and a £30 fine.
You should also think about keeping any rubbish in your vehicle until you find a bin. It doesn’t happen often, but some people tend to throw their trash out the window, which can be a hazard to other road users, not only cyclists but also motorcyclists.
Country roads can be dangerous in themselves, so its imperative you are more cautious of potential cyclists, motorcyclists or horse riders. Many will ride in clusters if you are approaching to fast you may be unable to brake in time.
As the night gets dark, you are less likely going to see a cyclist if you are driving at speed, unless necessary do not drive with your full beams on. You should also drive with dipped head beams if a cyclist is coming towards you, much like how you can be blinded by oncoming vehicles so can cyclists.
Make sure you do not have any black smoke coming out the back of your vehicle as this can significantly block the view of cyclists. If you believe there is a problem with your exhaust we highly recommend taking your vehicle to a car servicing in Milton Keynes.
What should I do if I’m a cyclist?
Cyclists need to ensure they are taking into consideration the drivers blind spots; it is often safer for you to hang back then pass a larger vehicle. Much like drivers you need to pay attention to what is around you as you never know what a car may do.
You should always cycle with assertiveness, do not ride to close to the curb as you could cause yourself injury. If you believe the road to be too narrow for both you and a vehicle rather than riding to the side of the road, cycle in the middle of the lane. By doing so, you are preventing any car from overtaking your dangerously.
Make sure you use appropriate hand signals, unfortunately, bikes do not have indicators, and it can sometimes be unclear to other road users of which direction you are travelling in. Make sure if you are travelling in the night you use reflective clothing as well as lights on your bike, you can be fined up to £30 for not doing so.
If you would like more information on how to ride your bike on main roads we recommend giving Bicycle Safe a read.