How much room do you give oncoming vehicles when overtaking a cyclist?

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  • How much room do you give oncoming vehicles when overtaking a cyclist?
  • Premier Icon P7Pro
    Subscriber

    I’ve had a couple of experiences when driving my car recently:

    1. The car on the other side of the road, coming my way, was following a cycle. My lane was empty except for me, doing 60mph (straight bit of country road). As I got near to the cycle and car, the car overtook the cycle, nicely giving him a full cars width. This meant that I had nowhere to go, so emergency brake time and a flash of my lights. The other driver wasn’t happy, giving me the finger, shouting something and pointing at the bike. I just carried on my way.
    2. Driving along narrowish bit of 30 mph road. Cycle, followed by car in the opposite lane. As above, the car overtook the cycle giving lots of room, just ignoring the car coming towards him (me). Again I hit the brakes and flashed, although no reaction this time from the other driver.

    I’ll happily overtake a bike giving lots of room and cut close to the oncoming car, but I’m sure there’s something in the highway code about being able to overtake safely.

    Is this a trend? Or are these well meaning, but crap drivers?

    Premier Icon aidanoggy
    Subscriber

    Crap driving and impatience. They should wait behind the bike ( as with any other vehicle) until they can overtake safely

    foureyes
    Member

    ive noticed that most people these days have no idea at all how wide their car is, no matter what they are driving, usually taking as much space as they can get, and to hell with oncoming traffic. same as indicating, roundabout use etc etc

    just assume theyre all useless as you would if you were riding

    fasthaggis
    Member

    Some people manage to drive properly,some don’t. I am afraid you just have to live with it,or do a handbrake turn,follow them till they pull over,then get all self righteous on their Rs πŸ˜‰

    mrmo
    Member

    Or are these well meaning, but crap drivers?

    yes,

    broadly three groups of drivers i meet,
    one don’t give a f***, come through and brush your elbows.
    two pull out into the face of oncoming traffic regardless.
    three wait until it is safe then overtake, giving some room, maybe not a huge amount…

    Too many people seem to believe that they have a god given right to drive around endangering everyone around them.

    poly
    Member

    I’ve noticed a phenomenon in these parts that on wide single carriageway many drivers, when presented with a cyclist ahead of them in their lane and an oncoming vehicle in the middle of the opposite lane continue with the overtake forcing the oncoming traffic in to the left. I’ve seen it both on the bike and when driving. Depending on the circumstances it can be anything from rude to dangerous.

    Is this a trend?

    Yes there is definitely a trend for people complaining about drivers / cyclists etc.

    Premier Icon mintimperial
    Subscriber

    It’s an improvement on the usual “give the cyclist 15cms if you’re feeling generous” approach, I like it. πŸ™‚

    You’re right though, I have seen this sort of thing quite a few times. If I see a bike on the other side of the road I assume the drivers coming the other way are going to suffer a 50% reduction in IQ and adapt accordingly. Drive like everyone else is a **** idiot, then you’ll only ever be pleasantly surprised on the rare occasion that you encounter one who isn’t…

    The retarded driving reminds me of a wee incident yesterday. Wife was driving. She was turning right at a T-junction from the main road into a side road. The main road was fairly busy with fairly fast moving traffic. There was a car trying to get out of the side road – boy racer type, shades on on a cloudly day, bright yellow car. I said to the wife that since he got to the junction he hadn’t looked ahead of him and didnt know we were there. Eventually, a gap came and he tries to take off into the side of us. He’d seen the gap, but hadnt realised there was a car in front of him. Almost caused a nasty pile up.

    Moral of the story – look all ways at a T-junction.

    psling
    Member

    I’ve regularly seen this whilst riding on rural roads. Some drivers see a bicycle ahead and commit to passing it without any comprehension of the speed the cyclist may be travelling at, thinking they will be past without impacting(!) oncoming traffic. I’ve spoken with drivers that have done this when passing me and in pretty much every case they have said ‘didn’t realise how fast you were going mate’. Now, I’m not a fast rider compared to a lot out there but a lot of drivers seem to think that ALL cyclists bimble along at 10mph and that they can overtake them in a shorter time than they actually can πŸ™„

    b r
    Member

    I’ve been driving 30 years and IME people on the whole can’t drive, and never could. Nothing really changed except for there been more vehicles on the roads.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    I got overtaken just like this last night (me on a bike)

    Taff
    Member

    I always try to give bag loads of room in see the cyclist has to dodge a drain or something. If that’s not possible then I will pass pretty close to the cyclist but only road is wide enough or oncoming car to come through too. Otherwise I just wait

    brooess
    Member

    Saw this happen 3 times in one ride yesterday –
    2x cars overtaking me round blind bends and having to pull in sharply as the inevitable happened and a car came the other way
    One guy overtaking in a residential area forcing oncoming traffic into an emergency stop.
    Some of the roads I ride are narrow, windy and hedgelined. Being higher up on a bike I can often see oncoming traffic and if I can hear a car behind trying to overtake I’ll wave them back (for everyone’s safety).
    Only rarely do they pull back in. One day I suspect I’ll be chatting to a policeman as a witness to a head on collision πŸ™
    Bring on self-driving cars, I think too few people have the skills and maturity to be in charge of cars

    druidh
    Member

    What about that whole other class of driver. The one that passes you with little to spare but whose trajectory takes them further out into the next line when they’ve already passed you ??

    Premier Icon simmy
    Subscriber

    Wait behind the cyclist till there is a gap in oncoming traffic to give the cyclist sufficent room.

    Thats what I teach but it seems that drivers these days dont care about anyone provided they get where they are going.

    Buses are another example. Parked at a Bus Stop, traffic just goes around them without two hoots about whats oncoming, and they are like sheep, one goes they all go.

    Problems on a Bike are if they pass you, realise the gaps not big enough between them and oncoming, and they swerve back into you.

    As Graham Obree said on the Cycle Show ” Look Wobbley ” πŸ˜€

    xiphon
    Member

    Lorrys and Buses are the worst – they don’t know the length of their vehicles.

    Markie
    Member

    How much room do you give oncoming vehicles when overtaking a cyclist?

    As much as I’d give when overtaking a car.

    Only time problems arrive is when someone impatient is tucked up in my boot expecting me to overtake as soon as a half chance comes my way…

    Round here there are lots of high hedges and bendy roads, and I believe that that places where one can overtake are few and far between. I want to KNOW that I can complete the overtake safely, not just figure that on balance of probabilities it will be okay. Sadly, this view is not shared by many of my fellow drivers.

    See the bike and slow down, moving over giving the other car the space in case they cross over into your lane and give the cyclists about 3m of room. Quite common to see this in Spain.

    IanMunro
    Member

    Can’t comment on the original examples, but I daily cycle on a slightly too narrow road and too busy road with double white lines. Quite often a car will overtake perfectly safely and pull back in again in front of an opposite travelling car only to be met with a torrent of light flashing and horn blowing. It’s a bit depressing as I imagine the driver going the opposite way are probably half asleep, yet their reaction to the situation is to beep their horn and flash their lights, rather than say slow down and move fractionally to their left. Plus I feel sorry for the driver who’s just done a perfectly safe and attentive overtake, but then gets the abuse for showing me this courtesy.

    IanMunro
    Member

    What about that whole other class of driver. The one that passes you with little to spare but whose trajectory takes them further out into the next line when they’ve already passed you ??

    Yup, I’d love to know what’s going on there.

    bigh
    Member

    I overdo it, almost to the point of completely crossing the lines as if it were a car I was overtaking. I hate riding on the road, our few have factored in two fairly hefty hills on the journey to our local trails just to avoid the main road

    mk1fan
    Member

    An overtake should only be performed when it is clear and safe to do so.

    A very simple ‘rule’ that very few people know/understand.

    matther01
    Member

    A recent study of drivers behaviours show that if you are wearing a helmet,drivers will give you less room than if you’re not wearing one. Presumably they think it’s OK to drive closer to you as you will be protected in the event of a crash! Nuts

    So the bottom line seems to be that everybody on this forum can drive and everybody else can’t . Surprisingly I’m not surprised .

    IanMunro
    Member

    Just to clarify, I’m a rubbish driver, and the primary reason I haven’t crashed is the lack of miles I do πŸ˜€

    coatesy
    Member

    Was involved in one of those incidents a few years back, an old guy overtook 3 of us, gave us loads of room, and stayed out way longer than necessary, hitting the front corner of the innocent oncoming driver, whose car was thrown across the road into an earth bank. I braked hard,the front wheel stopping literally 1″ from his wing,and gently toppled over the bars, landing on my hands and knees on his bonnet.We then had to rescue the offender who had gone over the bank on the other side, and down into the woods for 40ft without hitting anything(amazingly).He was done for drink-driving, not sure why others do it though.

    Interesting post .
    I had the same thing happen to me on my way home from work last week.
    Lady driver in a BMW attempts a crazy ‘Use the force’ overtake, uphill on a bend , on a hedge lined road. To make it even more special she was overtaking 2 cyclists so needed even more TED than if just 1 .
    I had to engage the ABS to bring my car to a halt to give her enough space to complete the overtake without crushing the first guy into the hedge. Special.

    I am not sure of the best thing to do on a normal 2 way road , one thats not especially wide. Do we think me , as an oncoming car, should drive in the gutter whilst approaching a cyclist head on . Thus giving a following car enough space to cross onto my ‘half’ of the road if required?
    Or stay in the middle of the lane and let the car(s) behind the cyclist wait for a sizable gap in the oncoming traffic?

    Markie
    Member

    I am not sure of the best thing to do on a normal 2 way road , one thats not especially wide. Do we think me , as an oncoming car, should drive in the gutter whilst approaching a cyclist head on . Thus giving a following car enough space to cross onto my ‘half’ of the road if required?
    Or stay in the middle of the lane and let the car(s) behind the cyclist wait for a sizable gap in the oncoming traffic?

    I’d say stay in the middle of your lane. Hopefully the overtaking driver will wait for an appropriate gap, but you’ve got somewhere to if not.

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)

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