In the first of a series of short road safety messages to car drivers, GEM Motoring Assist provides advice to help drivers share the road with cyclists.
The messages are intended to help drivers “better understand different road user groups and encourage them to make allowances for their specific needs”.
GEM says the “safest journeys happen when everyone obeys the rules of the road”.
David Williams MBE, GEM chief executive, said: “We believe there are two really important actions drivers can take immediately to reduce the risk to themselves and to cyclists.
“First, to accept that we’re all on the road with the intention of trying to arrive somewhere safely. Second, to be more observant on journeys, because ‘failing to look properly’ is the most common contributory factor recorded by police in a collision involving a bicycle and another vehicle.
“By taking these actions, and by committing to a courteous driving style at all times, we will play our part in making the roads safer – for ourselves and for cyclists, who are after all much more likely to be hurt in any collision.”
GEM’s five simple tips to promote safety for drivers and cyclists are:
• Remember above all that everyone on the road is trying to get somewhere safely. Do everything you can to play your part and you’ll be contributing to a safer road environment.
• Good observation is key, especially at junctions. This, combined with patience, helps ensure safer journeys for drivers and riders. Drivers should try to defuse tension, not increase it.
• Don’t stress when a cyclist performs a risky or illegal manoeuvre, and certainly don’t make any attempt to rebuke someone whose riding behaviour offends you. And don’t assume that if one cyclist does something dangerous, then all cyclists do it.
• Cyclists are entitled to the full lane of a road, not just the extreme left part. They need to manoeuvre round hazards such as potholes or drains, so be sure to anticipate this and give the space they need to stay safe.
• Give cyclists plenty of space when you pass, ideally as much space as you would give when overtaking another car. Avoid squeezing past or starting an overtaking manoeuvre when you can’t see far enough ahead to know you can complete it safely.