Cyclists are one of Ireland’s most vulnerable group of road users. As a new Irish driver, it is your responsibility to ensure your safety as well as theirs.

The RSA reveals of all collisions involving another vehicle – 4 in 5 cyclists are injured by a car.

Sadly, in 2018 1,056 cyclists injured in collisions

And, over half of the cyclist injuries occurred at junctions.

With alarming statistics like that, all new Irish drivers must understand the impact their driving can have on those around them.

It’s easy to forget (especially if you don’t cycle) that a cyclist does not have the same protection which you have in a vehicle and that even relatively minor contact can seriously injure them.

Here are some tips on sharing the road safely with cyclists.

Accept that cyclists have as much a right to be on the road as you.

The road network is for everyone to share; whether you are riding a pedal cycle, travelling in a car, lorry, bus or van or walking to your destination.

Look all around you at junctions.

According to the RSA, over nine in ten cyclists were injured in a multivehicle collision in which at least one other vehicle was involved.

Moreover, cyclist injuries occurred more often during the morning and evening commuting periods (8:00-8:59 and 17:00-18:59) when road use peaks.

In light of this, new drivers are encouraged to check all mirrors before driving off, paying close attention to blind spots at the sides.

Avoid all distractions like mobile phones.

This advice applies to all drivers at all times, but it’s worth remembering that you should not use or be distracted by your mobile phone while driving. If caught, you will risk prosecution.

Never speed.

Speeds kills. We know that because we’ve watched the RSA adverts showing scenes of destruction and bad decisions.

Pay careful attention to your speed and always slow down if you’re in the vicinity of cyclists.

Be careful when overtaking and leave plenty of space.

Speaking on publication of the report, Ms Moyagh Murdock, CEO of the Road Safety Authority said: “Today’s research reveals the majority of collisions involved a cyclist and a vehicle, and we know when a cyclist and car collide, the cyclist always comes out worst. We need to remove the potential for conflict by providing more dedicated and better cycling infrastructure.

While the announcement of the creation of a cycle lane on the north quays in Dublin city is a welcome development, much more needs to be done. Ireland is lagging behind many of our European counterparts in introducing dedicated cycle tracks. We need separate infrastructure for vehicles and bicycles that remove danger points from our roads and reduce conflict between road users.”

Don’t treat cyclists as obstacles.

We all have somewhere to be, and we’d all ideally like not to be late for work or a meeting.

But don’t treat cyclists as obstacles that you need to get out of your way; they’ve as much right to be on the road as you.

Always respect their journey as much as your own.

Don’t pressurise or harass cyclists to get past them.

Indicate your intentions.

A lot of accidents can be avoided by better communication between drivers and cyclists.

When you’re approaching a turn, always indicate as early as possible to allow cyclists behind or to the side of you to prepare.

Keep up to date with all the Irish driving news, tips and tricks on the New Driver IE website.