LeasePlan UK, one of the UK’s leading vehicle leasing and
management groups, has released tips on how to how road users can stay safe and
be more aware of others in Road Safety Week, which ends on Sunday (25
Road Safety Week is organised by road safety charity
Brake and this year’s theme is ‘Bike Smart’.
In 2017, there were over 170,000 road casualties and
1,793 fatalities in the UK. Whilst car occupants accounted for the greatest
number of casualties and fatalities, motorbikes (19%) and bicycles (6%)
comprised a quarter of incidents, demonstrating the need for greater awareness
of bike users, according to LeasePlan.
The organisation says its tips will help drive better
awareness of all road users to help reduce the likelihood of an accident. The
- Look over your shoulder - how many times do you
do something on autopilot and then regret not thinking before you did it?
Getting out the car is the same. Whilst many of us absentmindedly open the door
to get out of the car, checking over your shoulder could make all the
difference for a cyclist. Objects can appear in the road in a flash, so take
your time to assess whether it’s safe. The Dutch Reach technique is best for
achieving this, and is a method of opening a car door with the hand furthest
from the handle. This means motorists must turn their body towards the door,
giving them the opportunity to look over their shoulder to see whether a
cyclist - or motorcyclist - is coming.
- 150cm is the rule - as a driver, travelling
behind a cyclist going considerably slower can be frustrating. However, don’t
take unnecessary overtaking risks as it could hurt not only the cyclist, but
other road users too. Remember to leave at least 150 cm (the equivalent of two
large strides) between you and the cyclist, so you’ll need a clear road ahead
as to accommodate this you’ll likely venture onto the other side of the road.
- Look before you turn - 45% of all cyclist deaths
occur at or near junctions. Therefore, when you’re edging out and looking both
ways, make sure you’re really looking, as it can be easy to not see a cyclist
coming up on your inside. The same goes for motorbikes too. Even when traffic
is stationary, bikes can still weave in and out of the traffic, so take nothing
for granted and remember to take your time as you pull out.
- Remember the two second rule - one of the most
important rules of the road is to be prepared for anything, which you can’t do
if you’re tailgating the car or bike in front. Remember to hold back and give
yourself the space to react if you need to, so working on the two second rule,
or ideally more, will help give you this time and avoid any potential
accidents. If it’s raining or conditions are hazardous, extend the space in
front to give yourself and your car even more time to react.
- Take a breath - if
you’ve had a close shave on the road, it can affect not only your concentration
but also your ability to control your car. Shock or anger can trigger physical
responses such as shaking. If you feel a reaction such as this, pull over and
take a minute to regain composure. We don’t make rational decisions when we’re
riled, so don’t jeopardise others’ safety due to distractions.