If you’ve passed your driving test or are currently learning to drive, knowing the ways of – and how to share – the road is something you are taught from the start, but some motorists choose to neglect this knowledge as they become more experienced.
The news is constantly reporting on disputes between motorists and cyclists this day and age. With the popular use of dash cams and helmet cameras, we see many recorded incidents where sometimes it’s difficult to tell who was in the wrong, and at other times it’s blatantly clear someone needs to change their attitude! In built-up cities and towns, cyclists are everywhere and if you do not know how to pass them safely or decide to take chances, this could easily result in someone being seriously hurt, or worse – killed…
Consideration for cyclists
- Leave at least one car’s width worth of space when passing them and extra space in wet or poor conditions
- Always keep an eye on your blind spots
- Give way to cyclists on roundabouts as you would a car
- Use dipped headlights at night so you do not dazzle them
- Do not overtake a cyclist unless you can clearly see the road ahead
- Do not park in cycle lanes or drive into advanced stop areas
According to Rospa – in 2015 alone there were 18,844 cyclists harmed in reported road accidents in the UK, and that’s not to mention the 3,339 who were killed or seriously injured.
Horses aren’t as common in busy or congested areas, but if you are travelling down a country road or rural lane, the chances are much higher of you encountering a horse rider. Horses are easily frightened and loud noises or sudden erratic movements from cars can easily make it destressed and buck the rider off. Be mindful and take extra care when passing a horse by doing the following:-
- As you approach the horse, slow your car right down
- Turn the volume right down on the radio or on any loud music
- Like cyclists, give plenty of room to get past
- Do not rev your engine or honk your horn
- Give way on roundabouts as you would a cyclist
You may also see a horse rider at night, although they should be wearing reflective clothing, it still pays to be just as attentive and observant as you would be during the day.
Only class 3 mobility scooters are permitted to be driven on public roads. These go a maximum speed of 8mph and must be registered on the DVLA system with a valid tax disc. Mobility scooters are also allowed to use footpaths and pedestrian crossings – so this means they are legally obliged to follow the same rules as a horse rider or cyclist. The rules for them include following road signs, stopping at traffic lights and giving way to pedestrians.So you should treat them the same as you would the other two.
For more information on mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs – check here.
Whether you are driving in a busy city where there are a ton of cyclists, or cruising down a country lane where horse riders and slow moving vehicles pose a hazard, it’s important to remember how to respond in these situations and not put anyone at risk.