How should we deal with cyclists when learning to drive?
Cyclists are a major road user of the road but how do you feel about them and how are cyclists dealt with as you are learning to drive a car? The video below helps to explain the role of the car driver and cyclist as we share the road together. Its only once you learn to drive that you should begin to understand the position of a cyclist and how that can differ from a vehicle's position sometimes. You should always be prepared to give a cyclist adequate clearance to the front of your vehicle and to the side when passing one safely. The mirrors play a vital part of identifying if a cyclist is approach from behind as you prepare to slow down or stop the vehicle. Therefore always be aware that as you continue to move or start moving again a cyclist could be close on your nearside. Sometimes motorists ‘punish’ cyclists by over-taking too closely, a major concern for many cyclists. Rule 163 of the Highway Code states “give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car” and illustrates this advice with a photograph of a motorist leaving a full car’s width when overtaking a cyclist, so always adhere to this for your safety and the cyclist's.
There are two main types of bike/car accidents that are more common on our roads than any others:
- The left-hand turn, where a vehicle turns left directly into the path of a cyclist going the opposite direction. In this situation, the motorist often never even sees the cyclist until it's too late.
- The right hook, where a vehicle passes a cyclist who's riding in the right hand side of the lane going the same direction, then immediately makes a right turn directly into the cyclist's path.
Other situations such as vehicle doors opening into a cyclist's path, or rear-ending situations can cause just as much severe damage to a cyclist as well too so always proceed with caution.