Car Safety

Article submitted by James Kirby

Here are a few dangers I see while I am on my bike or on foot and I am sure you see them too! The thing you need to do is stick to the law and highway code and you will be fine!

All of the text below was taken from The Highway Code and are some of the common problems I see on the roads. Please read so your aware.


The following article was taken from The Bike Zone

"Roundabouts are one of the most cyclist unfriendly features to be found on the public road. Although driver behaviour at 'pinch points' and at contraflow gateways gives many cyclists cause for concern, they are at greater actual risk when using a roundabout. Cyclists are 14-16 times more likely to be involved in a crash on a roundabout than a car driver (Maycock and Hall, 1984) and a full 50% of these collisions are due to a driver entering a roundabout and hitting a cyclist who is already circulating and supposedly has 'right of way'. A further 10 % of collisions are due to drivers exiting a roundabout cutting across the path of a cyclist and an additional 10% are due to a cyclist being run down from behind. (Layfield and Maycock 1986). The best available evidence suggests that as many as 20% of all cycle crashes occur at roundabouts, though for reported 'accidents' the figure is nearer 10%."

Using the road - 163: In all cases watch out for and give plenty of room to cyclists and horse riders who may stay in the left-hand lane and signal right if they intend to continue round the roundabout.

Note from editor in February 06: I was "already circulating" a roundabout (twice on different days) this month, when cars were not slowing down even when I was in the roundabout. It really does PISS me off, the lack of respect car drivers have, good job my bar plugs are metal!

Mobile Phones

General advice - 127: You MUST exercise proper control of your vehicle at all times. You MUST NOT use a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device, when driving or when supervising a learner driver, except to call 999 or 112 in a genuine emergency when it is unsafe or impractical to stop. Never use a hand-held microphone when driving. Using hands free equipment is also likely to distract your attention from the road. It is far safer not to use any telephone while you are driving - find a safe place to stop first.
Laws RTA 1988 sects 2 & 3 & CUR regs 104 & 110

Note from editor on Sept 26th 05: I and another cyclist saw a car driver using a mobile phone and his driving was thoughless .. he could have killed me!


Using the road - 139: Overtake only when it is safe to do so. You should

  • only overtake on the left if the vehicle in front is signalling to turn right, and there is room to do so
  • stay in your lane if traffic is moving slowly in queues. If the queue on your right is moving more slowly than you are, you may pass on the left
  • give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would a car when overtaking

Road users requiring extra care - 188: When passing motorcyclists and cyclists, give them plenty of room (see Rule 139). If they look over their shoulder whilst you are following them it could mean that they may soon attempt to turn right. Give them time and space to do so.

Pedestrian crossings

Using the road - 168: In queuing traffic, you should keep the crossing clear.

Waiting and parking - 215: You MUST NOT stop or park on a: pedestrian crossing, including the area marked by the zig-zag lines; a cycle track.

Road Junctions

Using the road - 154: Advanced stop lines. Some junctions have advanced stop lines or bus advance areas to allow cycles and buses to be positioned ahead of other traffic. Motorists, including motorcyclists, MUST stop at the first white line reached, and should avoid encroaching on the marked area. If your vehicle has proceeded over the first white line at the time the signal goes red, you MUST stop at the second white line, even if your vehicle is in the marked area.