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Any cyclist who ventures out onto the road takes on a considerable element of risk, there is no doubt about it. In plenty of cases this is through no fault of their own and comes from the perception of some drivers that they are nothing more than a hazard and have no place on the same road as them. As a result it could quite conceivably be argued that an alteration in approach and attitude from the perspective of drivers is the biggest key to a safer all-round experience for cyclists in this situation.

Acknowledgement of status

As touched upon, one of the principle factors behind the dangers that cyclists often have to deal with out on the road is the way they are looked upon by those who are in charge of a motor vehicle. It is extremely important to understand that the status of both drivers and cyclists is the same on the road and in the case of the latter in particular they should be treated as such.

Make the right allowances

Act towards a cyclist on the road in front of you as you would with any other vehicle and give them the necessary leeway. It is a very hazardous and unsafe approach to assume that because it is a cyclist you can drive particularly close to them. This way of thinking should also be strongly applied when you come to move out and overtake them so make sure that you leave plenty of room in this instance. Even if you are not quite close enough to potentially make contact with the cyclist you can still emit enough of a force as you pass for them to be knocked off course and sometimes to devastating effect.

Use of the car’s horn

The vehicle’s horn is used in a number of situations that it is not intended for and you can add the times when a driver is annoyed at a cyclist to such a list. It should of course be said that there may well be an acceptable moment for you to use the horn and if this is indeed the case then make sure that you are a good distance away from the cyclist before you do it. If you beep the horn when you are too close to them then there can be some sizeable safety implications as the cyclist can be disorientated and this can lead to an accident for yourself and them.

Article written by Brian Jones, a cyclist and motorist representing the Ford car outlet –