A big part of learning to drive is dealing with other road users. Top of the list when it comes to this subject is thinking about cyclists and how to co-exist on the roads safely with them. But what should you be considering when thinking about bikes in this way?
Of course, you should always check your mirrors before performing any kind of manoeuvre in a car! This is a particularly relevant point when it comes to avoiding any incidents with cyclists on the road though. It is key to check your rear and wing mirror before turning, for example, to make sure a bike is not travelling up your inside as you turn. The same is true for any sort of reversing manoeuvre. Bikes can often come quickly out of nowhere so you must make doubly sure none are around before moving off.
Once more, trying to anticipate danger is a good habit to have when driving and is very important for bike safety. Some cyclists, for example, may suddenly ride off the pavement and into the road - if you were not paying attention to this, then you may not pick up on it until it is too late. Others could ride from between parked cars to cross a busy road or travel without sufficient lights on their bike. Bikes also have the tendency to be hidden when you are pulling out of a junction as they are much smaller. Being aware of things like this and being on the lookout for them is crucial.
Another great tip is to have patience when required and only overtake cyclists when it is safe to do so. Many accidents are caused by cars trying to squeeze past when there is not enough room, and this can lead to the cyclist being knocked off and injured. If you are behind a bike and there is no safe route past, simply stay a suitable distance back and wait. Remember, when overtaking a cyclist, you must leave a 1.5 metre gap of space.
If you live in the Swindon area and need expert driving lessons for yourself or a family member, contact Julie Murphy's Driving School today on 07927 211 131. Our team of friendly instructors can teach you how to think about bikes when behind the wheel and stay safe on the road.