Motorists urged to use stickers on mirrors to help them 'think bike'

LONDON: Drivers in the UK are being urged to place small “think bike” stickers on their wing mirrors to remind them to look out for those on two wheels.

The UK's AA motoring club said fatality statistics show its campaign to get people to look out for cyclists, which was launched in 2014, is “as relevant today as it was 10 years ago”.

Latest Department for Transport figures show 91 cyclists and 350 motorcyclists were killed on Britain’s roads in 2022.

A survey of 12,700 AA members indicated that 89% agree with the statement “it’s sometimes hard to see cyclists.”

A 2019 study of a thousand German cyclists found that almost half (45%) had, in their own view, almost collided with a suddenly opening car door at least once.

The AA said figures like these demonstrate drivers need to be more aware of road users on two wheels. Some 15% of respondents said they had lost their temper and used hand signals towards a cyclist.

Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, said: “The survey shows that 89% of drivers agreed that it is ‘hard to see cyclists’ but it shouldn’t be if they look in the right places.

“Cycles and motorcycles make up just 2.75% of miles travelled compared to cars but account for more than one quarter of road deaths,” King said.

“This is why it is essential to spread the message again to all drivers to think bikes.”

Jeremy Vine, broadcaster and cyclist, said: “I’m so pleased to see that the AA is doing this because, if you’re on two wheels, you do feel quite vulnerable.

“And I always think when you’re in a car – I drive too – you don’t always see that that person on the bicycle is a mum, a sister, somebody’s son, someone’s grandfather, maybe even their great-grandfather.”

There's another simple thing all car passengers can do to make things safer for cyclists: Open the car door with your other hand when you get out.

"This maneuver, known as the Dutch Reach, will twist your body slightly and make checking easier," Australia's Bicycle Network explains. It's just one of numerous bicycle advocacy groups calling for drivers to memorise this trick.

By reaching across your chest to open the door, you will automatically turn and look over your shoulder, meaning you will likely spot a passing cyclist before "dooring" them. — PA Media
Autos News