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How to stay safe as a cyclist around a lorry

As a cyclist, you are potentially at greater risk than any other road user. While statistics show that road accidents and deaths are on the decline overall, they also show that over half of all fatalities in Greater London involve cyclists and lorry drivers. Sadly, when those incidents occur, it is the cyclist that will be worse off.

It is, therefore, imperative that you take the necessary steps to stay safe on the roads. Here’s all you need to know.
The Biggest Dangers
Fatalities to cyclists are most commonly caused by lorry drivers that turn left across the path of a cyclist. As such, junctions and traffic lights are particularly dangerous areas for cyclists. In many cases, the hazardous situations unfold because drivers manoeuvre their lorries to the right, which seems to create a gap. In reality, the lorry is preparing to turn.
As a rule of thumb; the bigger the gap, the greater the risk.
Five Top Tips To Help You Stay Safe
  • Never cycle in the front-left lorry risk zone, as this is the most dangerous place on the road for any cyclist. Should a lorry put you in the risk zone while passing you, drop the speed (or brake) until you are out of the danger zone.
  • Avoid entering wide gaps between the left side of a lorry and a kerb, even when you think there is space for an easy pass. Lorries often move to the right before taking a left turn to create a better angle.
  • Where possible, try to stay behind lorries. While this doesn't reduce the risk to zero, this is statistically shown to be the safest place for cyclists to occupy. This is especially true at traffic lights and junctions.
  • When stopping in front of a lorry at a junction or traffic light, always take a central position. This makes it a lot easier for the driver of the lorry to see you from their high driving position, preventing potential damage.
  • Be wary of old four-axle construction lorries and concrete trucks. They boast the deadly combination of being large yet very manoeuvrable while they won’t be fitted with mirrors, cameras, or sensors.
And finally, it’s imperative that you wear the right helmet and ensure that your bicycle is equipped with lights and reflectors. Visibility is vital.