Drivers warned: Watch out for bikes and cyclists

The road can seem like a jungle sometimes; not only is it bustling with activity, there are a variety of habitants on the road.

With everything from heavy goods vehicles to scooters all part of the same ecosystem, the dangers to the least protected are also noticeable, and the emphasis is on drivers looking out for one another.

After all, a fleet manager will not want their driver going through the trauma of causing an accident. When they are sharing the road with cyclists and motorbike riders, the accidents that a driver can become involved in are often more serious.

This month, the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) reported that crashes involving motorcyclists are four times more likely to result in fatal injuries than car drivers. In fact, more than half of all collisions resulted in a motorcyclist being hospitalised or worse.

Drivers and fleet managers alike should be aware of the risks, and play their part in reducing these figures. To help, RACQ have openly advocated "sharing the road", which also corresponds to a recent advertising campaign from the Queensland Government.

Protecting cyclists

Another point the industry body brought up was the rules around overtaking cyclists. Drivers should leave a one-metre space between their car and the rider they are overtaking.

However, RACQ explained that many road users are unsure of the law, especially when passing a cyclist on a road with a solid centre line - signalling no overtaking.

"This new ad has generated a lot of questions from RACQ members," RACQ's Senior Road Safety Advisor, Joel Tucker began.

"[People] weren't aware that they were allowed to cross the centre line when safe to do so in order to provide at least one metre of overtaking distance on roads with speed limits of 60 kilometres per hour or less, and at least 1.5 metres of distance on roads with higher speed limits."

Mr Tucker advised drivers to only do so at a safe spot. While driving behind a cyclist in such conditions can be annoying for motorists, and bad for fuel consumption, the safest option is clearly the best.