With new Highway Code legislation coming into action from January, the roads are designed to be increasing in safety. Making more vulnerable road users, such as equestrians and cyclists, a priority on the road. However, as a car driver, it is important to remember that the safety of other road users should always be taken into consideration, and your individual actions can have huge consequences for other road users.
As such, safe driving, road etiquette and adherence to the Highway Code legislation should always be understood and practised.
Other road users
Cyclists and horse riders are some of the main road users that experience casualties and accidents when on the road. They often can be difficult to see, so it is important, as a car user, to always check thoroughly before pulling out at a junction.
Additionally, when overtaking, it is important to give them plenty of space, as they may swerve unexpectedly, and always check for oncoming traffic before pulling out.
Equestrians will require enhanced caution. Horses are living creatures and are therefore unpredictable. When driving amongst equestrians it is important to remember that if an accident were to occur, it likely will affect the horse, rider, and the driver (which may be you). And therefore, it is essential to be safe.
When overtaking or passing a horse and rider, slowing down your speed is essential, as it may cause the horse to spook.
Considerations when driving
There are many things to consider when driving, but some of the main things are:
- Your speed
- The speed limit
- Road conditions
- Weather conditions
- The other road users
Road safety precautions
If you see a cycle helmet with a helmet camera attached, it means that the rider is recording their journey in case of an incident. Remember that if you knock a cyclist off their bike, you could be liable for any injuries they sustain.
Having a cycle head camera or horse-riding camera attached to a helmet is a good first step in precautionary measures when on the road. A helmet camera is a great investment and can help with:
- Recording your journey
- Being used as evidence in the event of an accident
- Helping to improve your cycle safety
- Allowing you to review your own riding
If you are a car driver, it is important to remember that you are sharing the road with many different types of road users. Vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and horse riders, can be more susceptible to accidents if not given the space and respect they deserve. Always adhere to the Highway Code and drive safely, so that everyone can enjoy the road.
Here are 5 things to consider for safe driving:
1) Always check your mirrors before manoeuvring – this includes checking for cyclists who may be coming up on your inside.
2) Give cyclists plenty of space when overtaking – remember that they may not have time to get out of the way if you need to brake suddenly.
3) Take extra care when turning into or out of a side road – there may be cyclists or other vehicles coming the other way.
4) Slowdown in bad weather or on wet roads – braking distances are increased when the road is wet.
5) Be patient – remember that everyone is sharing the road, and everyone should take care when driving. Your individual actions could cost someone their life. Using the road is a privilege and should be respected to ensure everyone’s safety.