Look out for cyclists and make allowance for the differences between your vehicle and theirs. If you are driving behind a cyclist, be patient and do not attempt to overtake until there is sufficient room to do so without forcing the cyclist to move towards the kerbside. The younger they are, the more closely you should watch out for them, and be ready to slow down or stop. Cyclists looking over their shoulder or glancing around is a sign to you that they may be going to move out or turn.

Cyclists have the same rights to consideration as other road users and they are more vulnerable. Drivers (especially of large/long vehicles or of vehicles towing trailers) should take extra care when in the vicinity of cyclists - slow down and leave plenty of room for cyclists.

Cyclists may make sudden sideways movements due to road conditions, such as road debris, oil or surface damage - give them as much room as you could when passing any cyclists.

If you are driving a high-sided vehicle, slow down to pass and give extra room to cyclists to avoid unbalancing them with the air turbulence behind your vehicle. Cyclists may also be affected by cross-winds.

Cyclists may ride in the centre of the lane, especially when on a narrow road or approaching a junction. Watch out and be patient with them.

In headwinds or in wet weather, cyclists tend to keep their heads down. This creates risk; be alert for it and for the danger of cyclists skidding (sideslipping) on smooth wet surfaces.

Cyclists going uphill or carrying bulky loads, or who are young or inexperienced may move unexpectedly. Slow down and leave extra room for them.

When you are going to turn left, and especially if you have to wait at the corner, look out for cyclists who may have moved up between you and the roadside kerb. Look out for them (or who may be using a cycleway or bus lane). Do not overtake a cycle before turning left. Instead, follow the cycle and then make the turn behind it.

Before opening your door, always look back to check that no approaching traffic, especially motorcyclists or cyclists, would be endangered. Ensure that your passengers do the same.

illustration

When you are turning into or waiting to enter a main road, look out not only for vehicles but also for cycles which may not be as noticeable. It is because your view of a cyclist head-on is much narrower than your view of a motor vehicle.

 

 

Child cyclists

Children on cycles, and others learning to ride, need plenty of room. Give them a wide berth when you are passing and always be ready in case they wobble or change direction suddenly.

Warning sign – cyclists on road ahead or junction with cycleway ahead

Warning sign - Cycleway ahead (cyclists on or crossing road ahead)

 

 

Cycleways and cycle lanes

Cycleways or cycle lanes are indicated by traffic signs and road markings. All road users except cyclists must not enter a cycleway or cycle lane.

Cycle routes may cross normal roadway, particularly at junctions. Look out for cyclists entering the main roadway from a cycleway or cycle lane (see pages 38 and 39 for more information on the traffic signs and road markings that mark cycleways or cycle lanes).

Motorcyclists

There are many situations in which a two-wheeled vehicle is less stable than other vehicles, so leave plenty of room, especially for riders on less powerful machines.

As with cyclists, be on the look-out for motorcyclists who may move up on your left when you are preparing or waiting to turn left.

Keep a special look-out at junctions for motorcyclists. Motor cycles are much less easy to be seen than other vehicles, but may be going just as fast.