cycle safety on the road

Drivers Versus Cyclists – A Question of Attitude

Cyclists and drivers should love each other more.

With more and more cycles competing for road space with cars and other vehicles it is no surprise that people on both sides can get annoyed. I had a pupil taking driving lessons in Nottingham with me who hated cars when she was cycling and hated cycles when she was driving. Not a healthy attitude at all.

The way new drivers approach cyclists on the road during lessons falls into two categories.

Some pupils actually moan when faced with the prospect of overtaking a bike. They become tense at the wheel and seem aggressive as if they actually driving schools nottingham cyclistsresent the cyclist being there.

The driving task does become more complicated when you have to overtake a cyclist but this is no reason to get annoyed. The new driver will tend to go way too close to the cyclist instead of hanging back. Bikes can stop much quicker than cars so leave enough stopping distance.

Driving straight round a cyclist no matter how little room there is can also be a problem. You need to pick your spot to go around. Make sure you can move to the right enough and get back to your own side in time to avoid oncoming traffic. You need to time it right so you don’t pass opposite a central reservation. There’s simply not enough room.

Some learners can be too cautious which leads to other complications.

Look out for cyclists when learning to drive.

Don’t hang behind a cyclist forever. Cars will queue behind and have to overtake both you and the bike. Go round first chance you get which can be difficult on country roads. When you pull out leave enough room so the cyclist can swerve if necessary. You don’t need to shift all the way to the other side of the road.

Cyclists can make it easier on themselves and drivers. Don’t weave from the pavement to the road and back again. Red lights mean stop even if you are on a bike, a lot of people seem to forget that one. Look for indicators before passing cars on the left. There’s lots you can do to help the overall traffic situation.

If we all take a more co-operative attitude we can reduce stress levels and make the roads a nicer place to be.

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