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Road Safety – Passing Cyclists and other Road Users

I was a very keen cyclist in my younger days. I also had a pony when I was in Primary School. So I have been at the sharp end of some very bad driving.

The question is, how much space should you give a cyclist? The highway code states “leave at least 1.5 metres when overtaking cyclists at speeds of up to 30mph, and give them more space when overtaking at higher speeds” (highwaycodeuk.co.uk).

There is some good advise in this video:-

If you ask another question about horses – riders and horse drawn vehicles? The highway code states “pass horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles at speeds under 10 mph and allow at least 2 metres of space”. The important thing is that a vehicle passing quickly could scare the horse, resulting in it becoming unpredictable, which is dangerous for other traffic and the person controlling or riding the horse. Believe me, horses can be very fickle and unpredictable.

The video below shows how best to overtake a horse rider:-

Similarly for pedestrians – ” allow at least 2 metres of space and keep to a low speed when passing a pedestrian who is walking in the road (for example, where there is no pavement)”

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Road Safety – Tailgating

Tailgating is one of my major bugbears. Every time I drive I see it happening and it seems to be occurring more and more frequently.

As an Advanced Driver (I passed my IAM test back in 2006), it is something that I would very much like to a lot less off.

Drivers may think that their car has good brakes and will stop in time.

The question is, how much space should you leave between yourself and the car in front?

“The Highway Code says you should ‘allow at least a two second gap between you and the vehicle in front on roads carrying faster moving traffic’. The two seconds are made up of the time needed for thinking and stopping. And when it’s raining you need to at least double that gap.” (NationalHighways.co.uk) How do you measure this two second gap. If you pick a marker at the side of the road, such as a traffic sign, or a lamp post, and if you can say “Only a fool brakes the two second rule” between the car in front passing and you passing the same marker. Watch the video below:-

So what should you do if you are in front of someone who is tailgating? Good advise from a driving instructor in this link – it tells you what not to do and why people do tailgate.

The main point of this post is that tailgating is illegal and very dangerous. Do not tailgate the car in front – it will save your braking effort, so reduce the amount of wear and tear on your vehicle.