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Motorists should always be conscious of cyclists, giving them plenty of space because of their vulnerability. Drivers of larger vehicles, in particular, should always be on the look-out for cyclists and take extra care whenever they encounter them.
You should be doubly vigilant around younger riders and always remember the ‘Look Twice’ advice at junctions and when using mirrors before turning, changing lane or overtaking. Only overtake if there’s a safe opportunity to do so and do not drive too close to cyclists before overtaking. Think how you would want motorists to drive near you or your loved-ones when cycling.
Cyclists should ensure they are visible to motorists and other road users at all times by wearing bright-coloured clothing. In dark or low light conditions you should always wear reflective clothing and ensure you have effective, working lights. Remember it is generally good advice to wear a cycle helmet. Always be mindful of the speed of other vehicles and consider using cycle lanes when available, and if appropriate.
It is also important to choose your routes carefully and to consider the experience of your fellow cyclists. For example, never ride more than two abreast as outlined in the Highway Code and be prepared to recognise that on many roads this is not a safe way to ride. In addition, you should always match your cycling style to the road condition, just as you should when driving.
Motorists and cyclists are equally subject to the laws of road as outlined in the Highway Code – every road user is expected to abide by these rules.
Highway Code – rules for cyclists
As a supporter of the Department for Transport’s THINK CYCLIST campaign, the RAC recommends motorists and cyclists follow this advice:
THINK! advice for when you're driving
Look out for cyclists, especially when turning - make eye contact if possible so they know you’ve seen them
Use your indicators - signal your intentions so that cyclists can react
Give cyclists space – at least half a car’s width. If there isn’t sufficient space to pass, hold back. Remember that cyclists may need to manoeuvre suddenly if the road is poor, it’s windy or if a car door is opened
Always check for cyclists when you open your car door
Avoid driving over advanced stop lines – these allow cyclists to get to the front and increase their visibility
Follow the Highway Code including ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights
THINK! advice for when you're cycling
Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb – look and signal to show drivers what you plan to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you
Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen
Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor
Wearing light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark increases your visibility
Follow the Highway Code including observing ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights
THINK! recommends wearing a correctly fitted cycle helmet, which is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations