Cycling is on the increase in New Zealand and although it is generally becoming safer, by following a few simple tips we can prevent crashes.
Most cyclist and truck or bus collisions happen when vehicles turn left at traffic lights or other intersections.
Risk can be minimised if drivers and cyclists alike are aware of each other and behave responsibly.
Tips for cyclists
Cycle sensibly and assertively to help yourself stay safe.
- Recognise that truck or bus drivers may not be able to see you
- Never cycle up the left side of a truck or bus stopped at a junction
- Look out for trucks or buses turning left from beside or behind you
- Don't stop too close to the front of a stopped truck or bus
- Take up a visible position at lights: three metres out in front and not by the left kerb or very close to the truck or bus
About blind spots
The blind spot can be the full length of the vehicle, leaving the driver unable to see anyone cycling beside them on the left.
Don't risk your life by trying to pass trucks or buses on the left hand side when they are stopped at intersections or are about to turn.
Tips for truck and bus drivers
- Stay alert and look out for cyclists, particularly on your left side
- Wait for the right moment to pass cyclists and give them a wide berth
- Remember your huge size in comparison with the vulnerable cyclist - an adult cyclist may only be the height of your wheels
- Remain alert even in stationary traffic - pedestrians and cyclists may weave through slow traffic
- Don't cross stop lines or infringe on cycle Advanced Stop Boxes
- Get the best mirror system you can, including a FRESNEL lens. By fitting the lens to the passenger side window of your cab, you can improve your vision of cyclists on the left hand side of your vehicle.
When turning left
- Always signal and do so well in advance. A cyclist already on your left hand side or in front of you cannot see your indicators
- Look for cyclists on your left hand side. If you even suspect they are there, pause to let them get out of your way especially when pulling away
- Remember that if you have passed a cyclist just before approaching a traffic light or a junction, it is very likely they will end up on your left hand side or just in front of you. Assume the cyclist is in one of your blind spots
- Leave room in front of you when stopped at traffic lights to allow cyclists and motor cyclists a margin of safety
Watch this video from the UK on safe cycling near trucks and buses.