Advice for all drivers

A lot of advice for sharing the road with cyclists applies to all drivers and all road conditions. We’ve put together some general advice here and specific advice for drivers of large vehicles and for winter conditions on the following pages.

Cyclists should read our advice for cycling on the road.

Download "give space be safe" guide

Respect other road users

Remember that cyclists are road users too and have the same rights as motorised vehicles.

General Driving

Concentrate on your driving and do not use your mobile phone. Avoid loud noise in your vehicle.

Cycling feels hazardous when drivers are too close, so please give cyclists space and be patient.

Always use your indicators, even if you don’t think there’s anyone there! Indicate early, ie when cyclists are still behind you and most able to see your indicators. Check your mirrors and keep checking, especially when turning.

Road position

Legally, a cyclist can use the entire lane and will often take a mid-lane position to deter overtaking by vehicles at particularly vulnerable locations, for example where the road narrows, junctions, and blind bends.

Expect cyclists to move out in the road to avoid potholes/drains or to be seen by oncoming traffic or vehicles waiting at junctions.

Even if there is a cycle path or cycle lane, sometimes cyclists need to be on another part of the road to make a turn or to make themselves visible.

Observation

Always check your mirrors and blind spot, whether you are stationary or moving.

Always look for cyclists, especially at junctions. Look out for all types of cyclist (not every cyclist will be wearing hi-viz). Cyclists can be hard to see from a side view as they turn into or out of junctions, especially in the dark or wet. Be aware that the window pillars can obscure cyclists and pedestrians from view so move your head and look around the pillars to be sure.

Cyclists may not always give a signal, especially mid-junction or on a roundabout, as they need both hands for steering and braking. If you are unsure of a cyclist’s intention, wait for them to make their manoeuvre.

When turning right across a line of slow moving or stationary traffic, look out for cyclists on the inside of the traffic you are crossing. Make sure you check mirrors and blind spots before turning.

Overtaking

Overtake a cyclist in the same way you would another vehicle.

Plan ahead and wait until the opposite carriageway is clear.

Give cyclists at least 1.5m clearance in slow moving traffic. At higher speeds a full car width’s clearance is recommended.

Do not overtake near a junction, pedestrian crossing , on a roundabout or at pinch points (for example keep left bollards, pedestrian refuges and traffic calming features) NEVER overtake just before a left turn you plan to make.

Do not drive close behind cyclists or sound your horn.

Park with care

Do not park in cycle lanes – you could be forcing cyclists into dangerous situations.

Look carefully all around you before opening your door to ensure it doesn’t swing into the path of a cyclist.