How to drive safely around cyclists

21 May 2019 / Lindleys Autocentres

As the number of cyclists on the road increases each year, it is now even more important to ensure that you know how to drive safely around cyclists. With our tips, you are more likely to avoid the unfortunate event of any accidents and collisions.

Be aware of any blind spots

As you already know, to maintain a level of safety on the road you should be frequently checking your mirror in order to be aware of your surroundings. It is pretty common for accidents to occur when a driver is unable to spot a cyclist in time to react accordingly. It’s so easy for a cyclist to be hidden by other vehicles or in other blind spots. Therefore, keep in mind that if you do decide to change lanes or make a turn, a cyclist could be weaving through traffic.

Also, be mindful that it can be difficult to see a cyclist when you are on a roundabout or pulling out of a junction - stay alert at all times so that you know you can safely react in time.

To help mitigate this, don’t rely on mirrors alone. Instead, be sure to physically look around where possible. But be aware that even that isn’t always sufficient.

Make sure cyclists are aware of your intentions

As you already know, you should give enough time of indication to let your intentions be known to other road users. Leaving your indicators on for a good amount of time before manoeuvring can improve road safety drastically. Accidents tend to occur when a motorist has failed to provide an indication or enough time of the indication, that they intend to manoeuvre.

When it comes to cyclists, they will be paying extra attention to these types of signals in order to keep themselves safe. For that reason, we stress you be mindful of other road users by showing them what your intentions are.

In addition to this, try and resist using your horn around a cyclist unless it is absolutely necessary. This sound can startle a cyclist and could potentially cause an accident, particularly from sudden movement.

Do checks prior to opening your car door

Whenever you are parked on a highway, ensure you check around you (especially behind you) before you open your car door. Not only are you looking out for other motorists, but you are also paying attention to any cyclists that are harder to see. Simply check your blind spots and mirrors to avoid hitting anyone as you open your door.

Provide plenty of space

You should provide the same amount of room as you would a vehicle when you overtake a cyclist. Depending on the weather conditions, winds and wet roads can cause a cyclist to drift or skid in unintentional directions. Consequently, if you do not provide enough space they could crash into you or be pushed off the road. Just as you would when overtaking any other vehicle, avoid attempting to overtake on a hill or on a blind turn.

Cyclists may not be cycling in a perfectly straight line, so some movement left-to-right is expected, thus making it even more important to leave sufficient space when overtaking.

When considering to overtake, be aware that a cyclist may have to avoid hazards in front of them.  Ensure you only overtake when it is risk-free.

If you have any addition questions from this article, please be sure to contact us.

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