Cycling remains very popular at the moment thanks to some epic performances at this year’s Olympic Games 2016 in Rio. Not only have we seen golden couple Laura Trott and Jason Kenny win historic cycling golds, yesterday Trott became the most successful female Olympian with her fourth gold in the omnium!
Jason Kenny has now equalled Sir Chris Hoy’s record of six GB golds by winning the Keirin, and Sir Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win eight Olympic medals with a victory in the team pursuit in a new world record time.
It’s not surprising that since London Olympics 2012, the roads have become even busier with cyclists as people seek inspiration from some of the Olympic greats, and following the Olympic Games in Rio, it is unlikely that the popularity of the sport will diminish.
As motorists, it is our duty to remain alert when sharing the road with cyclists. Below, Trusted Dealers has put together some tips on what motorists and cyclists should look out for this summer on Britain’s busy roads.
Advice to drivers
Always be mindful that you are sharing the road with cyclists and scooters. Remember to check your mirrors and blind spots before making a manoevre, and always expect the unexpected.
Take extra precautions at junctions. Junctions are the most dangerous locations for cyclists – drivers often see the larger vehicles but can sometimes miss the small road users such as cyclists.
Always think ahead and pay full attention to what is going on around you – always be prepared to stop if necessary which means keeping to a steady pace in built up areas.
Remain patient – driving aggressively or sounding your horn can cause confusion for other road users and lead to accidents.
Remember cyclists will always be slower than your car so you need to keep a constant watch on your approach speed to avoid unintentionally running into the back of a cyclist.
Leave plenty of space when overtaking a cyclist – at least a car’s width is the recommended length to leave.
Try to think in the same mindset as a cyclist, or better still, consider using a bicycle for some of your own journeys so you can fully understand potential challenges a cyclist can face on the road.
Always be aware of children on bicycles. Look out for children who could cycle off the pavement and onto the road. Particularly if a group of children are playing unsupervised, be ready to pre-empt their every move which means driving at snail’s pace if necessary.
Advice to Cyclists
Be aware of a driver’s blind spot when passing buses and lorries – its often safer to hang back if in doubt.
Pay full attention to what is going on around you and be fully aware of what other road users might do.
Make eye contact when possible with drivers so you can be sure they have seen you.
Be confident and don’t ride too near the gutter – if the road is too narrow for vehicles to overtake you then it’s better to ride in the middle of the lane to ensure other drivers will see you, and to prevent any accidents.
Ride in a straight line past parked cars, and allow at least a full door’s width between you in case a car door is suddenly opened.
At traffic lights, always use the advance stop line if there is one there. If not, wait in front of other vehicles so you can be confident they’ve seen you when the green light appears.
Make sure you make confident and appropriate hand signals when you make a left or right turn.
Wear bright clothing in the daytime and reflective clothing or accessories by night. Use your lights after dark – white at the front and red at the rear – you’ll be fined £30 if you fail to do so.