9th May 2014
Car and Cycling Safety Guide
As the weather is now starting to improve you have probably noticed more cyclists on the roads than during the previous months. Motorists need to always be conscious of cyclists, making sure they are given plenty of space on the road. The larger the vehicle, the more you should be on the lookout for them and the more care you should take.
You should be even more vigilant of younger riders or parents out with young children – always remember the ‘Look Twice’ advice when at junctions and crossings, using mirrors before turning, changing lane or overtaking. As a rule of thumb, drive how you would want motorists to act if it were you or a family member cycling.
Of course, it’s not only drivers that can take extra care on the roads, cyclists need to make sure they are visible to motorists at all times. This can be done by wearing bright coloured and in low-light/dark conditions reflective clothing and making sure you have working lights on both the front and rear of the bike. It is also strongly recommended that you wear a cycle helmet. Also, try to use cycle lanes if they are available to you.
Never ride more than two abreast as outlined within the Highway Code and be prepared that this won’t always possible on many roads.
Motorists and cyclists are equally subject to the laws of road as outlined in the Highway Code – every road user is expected to abide by these rules.
Highway Code – rules for cyclists
As a supporter of the Department for Transport’s THINK CYCLIST campaign, the RAC recommends motorists and cyclists follow this advice:
THINK! Advice for when you’re driving
- Look out for cyclists, especially when turning – make eye contact if possible so they know you’ve seen them
- Use your indicators – signal your intentions so that cyclists can react
- Give cyclists space – at least half a car’s width. If there isn’t sufficient space to pass, hold back. Remember that cyclists may need to manoeuvre suddenly if the road is poor, it’s windy or if a car door is opened
- Always check for cyclists when you open your car door
- Avoid driving over advanced stop lines – these allow cyclists to get to the front and increase their visibility
- Follow the Highway Code including ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights.
THINK! Advice for when you’re cycling
- Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb – look and signal to show drivers what you plan to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you
- Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen
- Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor
- Wearing light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark increases your visibility
- Follow the Highway Code including observing ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights
- THINK! recommends wearing a correctly fitted cycle helmet, which is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations