Vision Techniques

The battle of the bikes

Not all drivers are conscientious enough to stop after they accidentally injure cyclists. You may have heard about the ill-judged tweet by young motorist Emma Way, who drove off after hitting a cyclist and posted the incident on Twitter.

In the tweet, she said: “Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier – I have right of way he doesn’t even pay road tax! #bloodycyclists”

Although Emma Way, from Norwich, had just 100 followers on Twitter, the tweet soon spread, and got the attention of Norwich Police.  She now faces charges and could lose her job.

But what was more fascinating to us is how the debate revealed the brewing tension between cyclists and motorists.

Whether you are a cyclist or driver, everyone has to share the same roads, and, for commuters, it’s usually at the busiest times of the day when there is more risk of accidents.

We thought we’d offer some advice when driving in the same area as cyclists, especially in the chaos of rush-hour traffic.

1. When turning right at a junction that doesn’t have traffic lights, there may be cyclists coming up on the inside who still have right of way and may not have seen you. Be aware of the risk and proceed with caution.

2. Give cyclists lots of space – they have more obstacles to dodge than you.

3. Use your mirrors, especially on the nearside and check your blind spot, especially if you’re turning left. Consider investing one of our cost effective cycle-safe products to minimise the risk. VT Overviewwill give you all-round vision, and VT Side Alert and Alarmalight™ will help warn you and cyclists of oncoming dangers.

4. Look carefully before opening doors when parallel parked on a street – you don’t want a cyclist to ride straight into it leading to a nasty collision

5. Be aware that cyclists may stay in the left-hand lane and signal right if they intend to continue round a roundabout.

6. Don’t drive through bike lanes or stops – the whole idea of lanes and stops is to get cyclists in front of other vehicles where they can more easily be seen.