Added: 10 April 2019

Are you a complacent driver? Many of us make the same journey to and from work every day, taking in the same sights. We’re used to to seeing pedestrians on the streets, motorcyclists on the road and even a few cyclists appearing now that the season is officially changing. But when we are accustomed to this, we may unintentionally stop paying attention.

With this in mind, Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, has provided a set of tips to refresh your knowledge on how to approach vulnerable road users...

  • Are you aware of the type of pedestrians around you? Is there an elderly person crossing the road? They may be walking slowly, so ensure they feel safe by reducing your speed. Children can be easily distracted and are unpredictable too, so do all you can to help them out.
  • You’ll often see cycling clubs grouping together, rather than travelling in single file. This makes it safer for everyone as a simple overtake on a short group is easier and safer to achieve than multiple overtakes on separate cyclists. Before you overtake them, make sure you have given them enough room, as they may need to adjust their road positioning unexpectedly for a pothole or drain.
  • Take note that there are two types of mobility scooters. Class 2 scooters are only allowed on pavements and have a top speed of 4mph. Class 3 mobility scooters should be registered and are driven on the road with a top speed of 8mph. Bear in mind that this group of road users may have restricted movement, vision or hearing so give them plenty of space and time.
  • Are you taking a more scenic route now that the days are getting lighter for longer? You may come across a horse and its rider walking along the side of the road. To avoid scaring the horse, turn the radio down and keep the engine revs low. The British Horse Society campaign encourages ‘Wide and Slow’ which reiterates driving no more than 15mph and leaving at least a car’s width gap.

Richard said: “The importance of sharing the road space and understanding the needs of other road users cannot be stressed enough. If we are aware of vulnerable road users, we can make provisions to keep us all safe. Remember to treat others how you would like to be treated.”

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