How to drive around cyclists

The AA offers advice on how to treat your fellow riders when you’re behind the wheel...

Expect the unexpected

If uncertain as to the intentions of another road user – including cyclists – hold back rather than risk a wrong assumption. Watch out for cyclists on your near side when turning left, and leave as much room as practically possible when overtaking – the cyclist may have to move out to avoid the drains, potholes or debris that you can’t see.

When parking, check the door mirror and look behind you before opening the door.

Keep calm

When turning left, allow any cyclists ahead of you to pass the junction first, rather than overtaking them and turning across their front wheel. Similarly, don’t try to overtake a cyclist if you can see that the road narrows ahead – they may be going faster than you think.

On roundabouts, give way to any vehicle approaching from the right, including cyclists. Be prepared to wait behind a cyclist turning right just as you would for a car – don’t squeeze past or get impatient.

Get in condition

Match your speed to the conditions, making sure you can stop – if need be – within the distance ahead you can see to be clear. On country roads, for instance, there could be a group of cyclist, a horse rider or pedestrians around the next bend.

At night, use dipped headlights when approaching cyclists, as you would with any other road user, and allow cyclists extra room in wet weather to account for wet and slippery road surfaces.

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