In an online survey of motorists the AA found found that 17% of respondents from Dublin said they had a near miss or collision with a cyclist in the previous two years. Galway at 14% and Wicklow at 13%.
Dublin ranking higher, however, isn’t surprising given that it is the cycling capital of Ireland. It has not only more cyclists but a larger percentage of cyclist. The death and injury rate is very, very low — the death rate is in the single figures and has remained low despite a huge increase in cyclists in the last 10 years.
On the AA’s website, Conor Faughnan, director of policy at AA Ireland said:
“While a considerable number of drivers in Dublin have had a scare involving a cyclist, Dublin is actually an extremely safe city in which to cycle and thankfully we’ve seen a huge drop in traffic fatalities in the capital over the last two years. However any life lost, is one too many. We can’t emphasize enough the importance always checking your mirrors and keeping your full attention on the road.”
Here’s the advice from the AA:
- Always check your mirrors for before turning.
- Watch out for cyclists and motorcyclists coming up on your near side when turning left or moving over to the left – check mirrors and blind spots carefully.
- Allow at least a metre when overtaking cyclists or horses as they may have to avoid hazards like drains, potholes or debris on the road that you may not be able to see. You’ll also need to avoid spooking the horse.
- When parking check the door mirror and look behind you before you open the door.
- When turning left allow any cyclist ahead of you to pass the junction rather than overtake them and turn sharply across their front wheel.
- Don’t overtake a cyclist or horse if you can see that the road narrows ahead.
- Don’t drive aggressively around cyclists or horses, sound your horn or rev your engine.
- Judge a cyclist’s approaching speed with care before pulling out at a junction.
- Remember you must give way to all traffic including cyclists approaching from the right on roundabouts.
- Be prepared to wait behind a cyclist or horse turning right in the same way you would for a car.
- At night, use dipped headlights when approaching cyclists.
- Allow cyclists extra room in wet weather as surfaces will be wet and slippery.
- Always watch out for motorcyclists when emerging from a junction.
- Be extra cautious around schools, sports clubs and areas where children are active.
- If you visibility is reduced slow down and keep your eyes peeled.