Cyclists are vulnerable, so be careful and give them plenty of space. Remember they have the same rights on the road as car drivers.
Think cyclist when you’re driving
Along with motorcyclists, cyclists are the most vulnerable road users.
- Look out for cyclists, especially when turning – if possible make eye contact, so they know you’ve seen them.
- Use your indicators to signal your intentions so that cyclists can react.
- Give cyclists space when passing – 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 – for instance, if the road has potholes, if it’s windy, or if someone opens a car door.
- 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.
- In adverse weather conditions and poor visibility allow cyclists extra room as road surfaces will be wet and slippery.
- Follow the Highway Code including ‘Stop’ and ‘Give Way’ signs and traffic lights.
- THINK bike at junctions, as cyclists may be travelling faster than you think.
- Keep headlights dipped at night when approaching a cyclist.
- Finally, give cyclists respect – although they are vulnerable, they do have as much right to be on the road as you.
As published by ROSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents:
- Around 75% of fatal or severe cyclist accidents occur in urban areas.
- Around half of the cyclist fatalities occur on rural roads.
- 75% happen at, or near, a road junction.
- 80% occur in daylight.
- 80% of cyclist casualties are male.
- Almost one-quarter of the cyclists killed or injured are children.
- Around three-quarters of cyclists killed have significant head injuries.
In 2016, 18,477 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents, including 3,499 who were killed or seriously injured. These figures only include cyclists killed or injured in road accidents that were reported to the police. Many cyclist casualties are not reported to the police, even when the cyclist is inured badly enough to be taken to hospital.