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Considering Other Road Users

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 6 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Considering Other Road Users Considering

Other drivers aren't the only road users that you need to consider - you also need to look out for other potential hazards such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders.


Keep an eye out for pedestrians trying to cross the road, especially between parked cars. This is particularly important in built-up urban areas.

Some pedestrians are more vulnerable than others, such as children and the elderly. Both groups are often unable to adequately judge the speed of approaching vehicles. Because of this, they are prone to crossing the road at times when it isn't safe to do so. Be prepared for children stepping out into the road, and maintain a sensible speed that allows you to slow down quickly enough.

Once they have started crossing the road, the elderly will sometimes need more time than most pedestrians to get to the other side.

Cyclists and Motorcyclists

They aren't always visible in your mirrors, particularly at junctions and roundabouts. For this reason, you should take a quick glance over your shoulder as you come out of a junction to check your blind spot.

When you overtake them, give them lots of room. It can be all too easy to accidentally knock a cyclist or motorcyclist off their bike if you get too close.

If they glance over their shoulder at you, it doesn't necessarily mean that they want you to back off, as they may be looking to turn right shortly. Either way though, it's a good idea to give them some space.

Horse Riders

Don't go too fast around horses as they can easily get scared and injure their rider. When you come to overtake them, give them plenty of room so that you can do so without scaring the horse(s). Look out for hand signals from the riders in relation to stopping and slowing down.

Vulnerable Drivers

This includes elderly drivers, learner drivers and inexperienced drivers. For the latter two groups, their reactions will probably be slower than more experienced drivers as they are not yet used to driving on the roads.

Mobility Vehicles

This includes powered scooters and wheelchairs that often travel fairly slowly (their top speed is around 8 miles per hour).

Emergency Vehicles

When you come across the sirens and flashing lines that alert drivers to the presence of emergency vehicles, you need to let them past as they approach. This may involve pulling over to one side to let them through, although this isn't always the safest option. You need to weigh up the best option for the situation that you're in, and act accordingly.

Buses and Coaches

You should give priority to buses and coaches as they leave bus stops, as long as it is safe to do so and doesn't compromise other drivers. Look out for passengers getting off buses and coaches and looking to cross the road in front of or behind the vehicle.

Considering other road users is common courtesy, and helps to make you a better and safer driver. Most of it is common-sense thinking.

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