Look out for each other
Watch out for lorries
Lorries (also known as Heavy Goods Vehicles - HGVs) often have areas to the front, back and sides of the vehicle which are not visible to the driver. This makes it difficult for drivers to see cyclists riding alongside the vehicle. Cyclists in front or beside lorries can also be hidden from view.
New and experienced cyclists have been killed in collisions where a HGV is turning left.
The graphic below highlights in yellow the space around a HGV which is difficult for the driver to see. It is best to avoid cycling in these areas:
- Give large vehicles lots of space, especially at junctions. It may be safer to stay behind the HGV than cycle up the inside.
- Make sure you can be seen by the driver at all times – don't assume the driver can see you.
- Don't assume it is safe to cycle up the inside of a HGV into the Advanced Stop Box (ASB). The lights may change to green and the driver may pull away without knowing you are there. If you can’t safely get to the ASB, wait behind the vehicle.
- If you cycle into the ASB, make eye contact with the driver to be sure they have seen you.
Make yourself visible
Make yourself visible to road users, especially in the dark or in bad weather. Light or bright coloured clothing can help, and reflective gear like a hi-visibility vest or backpack is especially effective at night.
By law, if you’re riding at night, your bike must have working lights and reflectors - white at the front and red at the rear.
If you choose to wear a cycle helmet make sure it fits snugly and doesn’t slip up and down, or side to side.
Be alert to what’s going on around you - don’t wear headphones, use your mobile, or do anything that might distract you from the road. Traffic noise can help you anticipate what’s going on around you, especially with fast or emergency vehicles.
Make your intentions clear
Make your intentions clear to other road users. Use your arms to indicate the direction in which you are about to travel, well in advance of making the manoeuvre.
Hold your arm out long enough and far enough for others to see.
Position yourself on the road
Cycle in a visible position on the road. Don’t ride too close to the kerb - a minimum of one metre from the kerb is advised.
If the road is narrow and it’s difficult for cars to pass you, it may be safer to ride in the middle of the road. Pass parked vehicles at a car door’s width in case the door opens suddenly.
When avoiding obstacles like potholes and rubbish in the road, move out of the way well in advance to avoid swerving at the last minute. Never pass buses on the left when they are approaching a bus stop.
Placing yourself in ASBs at junctions, or in the middle of your lane allows road users to see where you are before the lights change and prevents them from turning across your path. Make eye contact with drivers waiting behind you, particularly lorry drivers.
Follow the highway code
Not only is it the law, the highway code will make your actions more predictable to other drivers.
Cyclists belong on the roads, not on the pavements. Look out for pedestrians, especially on zebra crossings.
Cyclists have to stop at these and at traffic signals just like any motorist.
- If you want practical advice and on-road training, have a look at the options for Cycle training in Camden
- Camden Cycling Campaign organises rides and other cycling events
Page last updated Dec 21, 2011 12:03 PM