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Sharing the road with cyclists

Published on: 12 February 2015

Cycling is the fastest-growing sport in South Africa, to a point where it is sometimes referred to as ‘the new golf’.

As we see more cyclists on our roads, it is important to remember that cyclists are legitimate road users and have the right to be treated courtesy and care.

In light of this, we here are some tips on how to share the road with cyclists:

  • When driving, give as much room as possible when over-taking a rider. They may have to move out of line to avoid hazards like drains, potholes or debris on the road that you may not be able to see.
  • If you're not sure about the intention of a cyclists (or any other road user) rather err on the side of caution than risk making a wrong assumption.
  • Don't overtake a cyclist if you can see that the road narrows ahead – if they're travelling faster than you think, you could end up squeezing them off the road.
  • Be prepared to wait behind a cyclist who is turning, in the same way you would for a car – rather than squeezing past or getting impatient.
  • Do not use hoot unnecessarily at cyclists. If you are too close, the noise itself can cause a rider to lose his or her bearings and create a hazardous situation for both you and the cyclist.
  • Be careful at stop signs. When a car stops at a four-way stop, they usually look for other cars. However, cyclists have just as much right to use the road as a car. If the bike arrived at the intersection first, it gets to go first.
  • Watch for bikes in your blind spots. Because bikes are smaller, they are harder to see than a car. Blind spots can completely hide a bike. Make sure you check over your shoulder for bikes in particular, before turning, passing, or merging.
  • In residential areas, watch out for kids on their bikes. Children are often unpredictable – so expect the unexpected, slow down and be prepared to stop quickly.

Remember, cyclists are more vulnerable than motorists, with little protection from a traffic crash. It is therefore important that both cyclists and motorists consider each other and share the road safely.

If you're looking for insurance cover for your mountain or road bike, MiWay offers insurance for your bicycle. We cover you not only while you are training but also during and en route to races.