Drivers urged to have 'absolute focus' when near cyclists under Highway Code rules

Cyclist and car

Experts are urging all road users to pay attention and look where they are going

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 18/09/2023

- 12:41

Cyclists were given updated road safety guidance in the Highway Code last year

The most dangerous manoeuvre on British roads for British cyclists is turning right, accounting to more than 10,000 collisions between 2012 and 2021.

Turning right is also the most dangerous manoeuvre for car drivers, resulting in over 186,000 collisions in the same time frame.

Similarly, the manoeuvre which led to the second highest number of collisions included slowing or stopping for cars (130,709) and moving off for bicycles (4,911).

New Highway Code changes were introduced in January 2022 and aimed to make everyone aware of the “hierarchy of road users”.

This places the road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy, with everyone being urged to act responsibly.

Larger vehicles like HGVs and vans have more responsibility on the road than other road users like pedestrians and cyclists.

Kevin Pratt, car insurance spokesperson at Forbes Advisor, has urged all road users to keep an eye on where they are going to avoid any dangerous situations.

He said: “Accidents will always happen, but it’s worth remembering that the vast majority are caused by human error.

“Drivers who are risk aware, cautious and focused on what they are doing can improve their chances of avoiding collisions.”

Rule H3 of the updated Highway Code states that drivers and motorcyclists shouldn’t cut across cyclists, horse riders or horse-drawn vehicles when they are turning into or out of a junction.

When people are crossing or waiting to cross at a junction, vehicles should always give way and allow them to pass first, with drivers on country roads being told to be especially cautious.

Kevin Pratt added: “Modern cars are designed to make driving easier and safer, but the danger is that drivers can become complacent and distracted, perhaps reviewing a satnav screen or choosing what music to listen to instead of concentrating on the road and other traffic.

“And there are times when absolute focus is essential, whether it is turning right across oncoming traffic or bringing the vehicle to a safe stop.

“Anyone who can recognise and respond to high-risk situations will be a safer driver.”

He continued, saying that anyone who takes risks and does not pay attention to the road ahead will endanger themselves and other road users.

The Highway Code also states that cyclists should ride in the centre of lanes on quiet roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions.


Cyclist and car

Cyclists were given updated guidance in the Highway Code last year


They are advised to keep at least half a metre – or just over 1.5 feet – away from the kerb edge when riding on busy roads with vehicles moving faster than them.

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