Be a safer Cyclist

Below is some advice for drivers and cyclists on how to share the roads.

For more information on cycling and cycle training please see our main Cycling page, or read more about cycling helmets and the laws about lights.

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  • Cyclists are inherently less stable and more prone to the influences of side winds and steeper gradients.  Together with potholes and debris in the road this means cyclists are likely to wobble or change their path of direction with little notice.  Give cyclists plenty of room when overtaking, even on a dual carriageway - a car width is best.
  • Take extra care when looking to turn in or out of a junction as cyclists can be approaching at similar speeds to cars (up to 20-30mph).  Look properly right left then right, remembering that cyclists are not as obvious to see as motor vehicles.
  • Be patient.  Being ‘held up’ by a cyclist is only going to add a few seconds to your journey so don’t be tempted to squeeze past between cyclists and oncoming traffic or at road narrowings.  Be aware that cyclists may take up a centre-lane position at narrow sections of road to ensure that they are seen by drivers and to prevent vehicles squeezing past inappropriately.
  • At traffic light junctions, stop at the first stop line if there is an advanced stop line for cyclists.  This box enables cyclists to reach the front and be more visible to drivers.
  • Remember that whilst you are ‘protected’ within a tonne of metal, cyclists have little protection in a collision so think of the potential consequences of your actions.  A momentary lapse of concentration could have severe repercussions for a cyclist and their family.  Drive responsibly and be considerate to cyclists’ needs on the road.
  • Don’t always assume a driver has seen you as you may be in their blind spot or they genuinely might not see you due to low sunlight or a ‘busy background’.  Make yourself more visible to drivers by wearing bright, reflective clothing, using lights and riding in the road in a position where drivers will see you.
  • Use your eyes and ears and be fully aware of what is going on around you. When passing junctions, make eye contact with drivers, be aware of their head movements to determine whether they have actually seen you and be prepared to brake.
  • Give clear hand signals in good time to show drivers your intention to turn and always look behind you before carrying out a manoeuvre.
  • Use lights at night or when there is poor visibility e.g fog.  Both front and rear lights are a legal requirement at night and can be constantly on or flashing.  Flashing lights are attention grabbing but bear in mind they make it difficult for drivers to judge distances to you so it is worth having a combination of both constant and flashing lights.  You must also have a minimum of a red rear reflector, and amber reflectors on your pedals as a legal requirement. A front white reflector and wheel reflectors will also help make you more visible in the dark.
  • Don’t jump red lights as it is illegal, or overtake large vehicles on the inside at junctions as they may not be able to see you and could collide with you.  Cycle responsibly.

For more information, visit the Think! website