Driving Around Other Road Users

Whilst cars are the most popular mode of transport on the roads they are not the only ones and we think it’s important that you understand how you need to modify your driving around other road users.

To help you we’ve put together our best five practices for driving around the most common road users you’ll encounter which are:

  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists
  • Horse riders
  • Motor cyclists
  • Tractors
  • Buses
  • Lorries

These tips are designed to help keep you and other road users safe and are general practices that you can incorporate into your regular safe driving habits.

Tips for Driving Safely Around Other Road Users


  1. Slow down in heavily pedestrianised areas where you are more likely to have pedestrians crossing without using a designated crossing.
  2. Be patient with slower pedestrians and don’t pressure them to cross faster, this can not only leave them feeling uncomfortable but if they feel pressured they might be more likely to fall or have an accident.
  3. Observe all road crossing rules including the latest Highway Code updates on pedestrian priority rules.
  4. Pedestrians are advised to travel on the opposite side of the road to the direction they are headed so that they can better see the traffic which is approaching them as well as making them visible for oncoming traffic. When you see an approaching pedestrian you should slow down and wait to pass them safely at slow speed when there is no oncoming traffic in the other lane, this may require you to come to a complete stop if there is a lot of traffic.
  5. Be careful in bad weather and later at night / earlier in the morning when visibility is reduced, although pedestrians are advised to wear bright and reflective clothing they may not always be doing so and will be harder for you to spot.


  1. Cyclists are smaller road users which makes them more difficult to spot than a car or larger vehicle so you should always double check your mirrors and blind spot for them when completing any manoeuvre.
  2. When parking on the roadside check there are no cyclists approaching before exiting the vehicle as you can easily knock them opening a door.
  3. Give them plenty of space, whether you are following them or over taking you should allow at least 1.5m between you in order to stop your vehicle and the wind flow created by it from causing them to fall.
  4. You should also travel at slower speeds when around cyclists in order to prevent a strong backdraft when you overtake them or scare them by the noise of your revs or proximity to them.
  5. Do not park in cycle lanes or boxes at the junctions. Cycle lanes are designed to keep cyclists as safe as possible and by parking in one you are creating a hazard for them to avoid and forcing them to join the main flow of traffic, which will also cause the traffic to slow down.

Horse Riders

  1. Slow down and travel at a consistent speed to avoid revving the engine when around horse riders, sudden noises could spook them and so you want to make sure not to press down too hard on the accelerator.
  2. As noise can startle horses you should also turn down, or even mute your radio so that it doesn’t affect them.
  3. Just like with pedestrians and cyclists you should allow plenty of room when passing a horse rider. The horse may act unexpectedly and you should always take care not to do any sudden movements or get too close to them.
  4. Be mindful that riders are allowed to ride two abreast and if a horse or rider is new to riding on the road then they may continue to do so even when cars need to overtake for everyone’s safety. This is allowed and you should still ensure you give both riders plenty of space when overtaking.
  5. When following horse riders you should be careful not to travel too closely to them, allow plenty of room as the animal will not travel at a consistent speed and may stop unexpectedly.

Motor Cyclists

  1. Make sure to check all your mirrors and blind spot for motor cyclists as they are smaller than other road users and so more difficult to notice, additionally they can travel much faster than a pedal bike so will be much quicker in reaching you.
  2. When being overtaken by one you can move to the left of the lane to allow them a little more room to safely complete the manoeuvre but only if this is safe for you to do so.
  3. Give them the same space you would another car or larger vehicle when queuing in traffic, especially if stopped.
  4. Be mindful that their lights are much smaller and in a different location to those on cars because of their smaller size so you’ll need to be aware of where they are positioned if following a bike.
  5. Don’t be annoyed if they are weaving through traffic, whilst this might not be safe there is nothing you can do to prevent them so remaining calm and in control of your own vehicle is the best thing you can do.

H3 Tractors

  1. Tractors have a much slower top speed with only some of the very fastest models able to go over 30 mph so you should always be patient when travelling behind one.
  2. Tractors are not only taller but also a lot wider than other road users, this means that they may be travelling over the centre line and if you are approaching a tractor from the opposite direction you should slow down and drive a little closer to the left-hand kerb if possible.
  3. Tractors will often pull into and out of farmland gates, which might not always be as noticeable as main junctions so you should be aware they may not turn where you expect them to.
  4. Tractor brake and indication lights are in a different location to regular vehicle and not always in the same spot in your line of sight so if you’re following behind one you should be aware of their light locations in order to notice when they’re turning or stopping.
  5. Although tractors are advised to pull over in a safe location if a queue of traffic has built up behind them they may not always be able to, especially when towing farm equipment or trailers, and you should not pressure them to do so.


  1. Do not drive in bus lanes when they are operating. Some will be 24 hours while others only during rush hour so we advise checking the signage for their operating hours before using a bus lane.
  2. You should not use a bus stop or lane to park your vehicle, even if it is only temporarily. You will become a hazard to any buses wanting to use it and in turn to other road users.
  3. Be aware when passing bus stops of any bus looking to pull out and re-join the flow of traffic, they may not always see you as they have larger blind spots.
  4. Buses are a larger vehicle so they will have a larger turning circle and need more space at roundabouts and when turning at a junction.
  5. When passing a parked bus you should also be wary of pedestrians departing the vehicle as they may be looking to cross the road and might not see you / you see them early on around the bus.


  1. Be aware that lorries have much larger blind spots so you will need to be more cautious when in their blind spots.
  2. Larger vehicles have much larger turning circles so you should give them plenty of room at roundabouts or when they are turning as they’ll need to take a wider line.
  3. Keep in mind that with a lot of our goods coming from Europe they may have a left-hand drive cab, so the driver will be on the other side of the vehicle and have different blind spots. You’ll usually be able to recognise these by the number plate which will be formatted differently.
  4. Leave a wider gap between you and the lorry ahead than you would with a smaller vehicle, this will allow you adequate time to slow down appropriately when they do and to see past them to any potential hazards there may be.
  5. Even if they are not fully loaded the lorry itself is a heavy vehicle and so they will accelerate and brake more slowly and be much slower when travelling uphill so you should keep this in mind and adjust your speed appropriately.
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