Our guide to vulnerable road users

Written by Benedict Harrison

Published on

Some top tips for all road users to follow to improve everyone's safety.

When you use your vehicle for your work, you’re likely to spend more time out on the road than the average person. So no matter if you’re a private hire driver, van courier or delivery driver, it’s important to make sure you’re looking out for other more vulnerable road users.

The number of insurance claims for bodily injuries involving cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists is on the rise. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the different groups of vulnerable road users you’re likely to come across and what you can do to ensure the roads are safer for everyone.

Anticipate ahead

When you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, it’s important to stay alert and anticipate ahead as much as possible. If you’re a delivery or private hire driver, you’re likely to be at work during peak times of the day when the roads are busiest, so it’s vital to give yourself as much time as you can to respond to any changes or potential hazards up ahead.

Watch out for cyclists

The number of cyclists on the roads in London is expected to increase tenfold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Manchester also seeing a 22% rise in the number of bicycles on the road. It’s important to make sure you’re looking out for cyclists, as they are among the most vulnerable road users.

Where possible, you should make eye contact with cyclists to show that you have seen them. Proper use of your vehicle’s indicators will make your own intentions clearer to cyclists and you should always watch out for theirs too.

Keep your distance

When you overtake a cyclist, make sure to give them plenty of room, especially on a windy day. Don’t forget to check for cyclists when opening your car door, pulling out at a junction or when performing a manoeuvre.

When you approach traffic lights, make sure to stop at the advanced lines to give cyclists and motorcyclists plenty of space in front to make themselves visible. You must stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red. When the green signal shows, allow the other road users time and space to move off.

Allow other road users to maintain social distance, where possible. For example, give cyclists space at traffic lights. Public Health England recommends keeping a 2 metre distance from others, where possible.

What to do as a vulnerable road user

Improving the safety of the roads isn’t the responsibility of one particular group of road users. All road users can help to make the roads safer for all drivers. As a vulnerable road user, you should always make yourself and your intentions clear and visible to drivers.

There are a number of ways you can improve your own safety on the roads, including wearing bright or reflective clothing, signalling clearly and making eye contact with drivers where possible. As winter approaches and the evenings get darker, it’s more important than ever to attach lights if you’re using a bicycle so that you can be seen by other road users.

If you’re a delivery driver, van courier or private hire driver, you can find out more information about Zego’s products and services by visiting our website.