Beware Summer Cyclists

One of the great things about summer is that we are tempted to get the bicycle out to make the most of the good weather.

“Fair weather” cyclists may not be used to riding. And they all have different levels of road experience.

As a driver, you need to take care to judge their speed. Remember too that some cyclists, particularly younger ones, have never driven a car, and so don’t recognise the problems that they can cause car drivers.

Give young riders even more space than older ones; both old and young riders may swerve suddenly to avoid debris or potholes, but young people are more prone to forget your presence when they do.

Cyclists don’t have steel armour round them like drivers do. Passing them at speed within a foot of their elbow may feel perfectly safe from where you are, but it doesn’t when you are the cyclist.

Slow down around cyclists and give them plenty of room as you overtake. In traffic, make sure that you don’t cut up a cyclist who is about to pass you on the near side. Try not to cut across a cyclist when you need to turn left at a junction.

Wait behind until the cyclist has either turned left or passed the junction.

Park with care and prevent any passengers from opening a door until you are sure that there is no cyclist coming up on either side. Likewise, check over your shoulder to see there’s no cyclist approaching before opening the driver’s door.

Pay particular attention on roundabouts, as many accidents to cyclists happen at these junctions. Remember, if there is a crash between a car and a cyclist, whoever is to blame, the cyclist will always be more vulnerable to serious injury or even death.

6 August 2006 Staff

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