Considering Other Road Users

As the saying goes: ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. As drivers, we have the most responsibility on the road and considering other road users is vital. The machine we are controlling is capable of inflicting tragic damage on those around us if we aren’t careful and considerate.

Different groups of road users – cyclists, horse riders, pedestrians, mobility scooter users – all need different types of consideration. The responsible thing for us to do as drivers is to familiarise ourselves with the challenges each one faces.

Advice for drivers around horses

Responsible horse riders try to avoid busy or fast roads and wear high-visibility clothing. There are things that other road users can do as well though.

Obviously, considering other road users such as horse riders, involves things like driving carefully, particularly around bends on narrow roads and giving horses and riders time to react safely. There are some other important things to think about as well, though.

Tips for when you come across a horse:

  • Watch out for signals from the rider to slow down or stop
  • Slow down straight away when you see a horse so you can react
  • Give the horse at least a car’s width of space
  • Don’t make any loud noises (for example revving your engine or sounding the horn)
  • Avoid splashing the horse with puddles
  • Accelerate gently once you’ve passed the horse

When a horse panics

If something like a speeding car or a barking dog frightens a horse, it’ll try to get away. Even an experienced rider on a well-behaved horse will struggle to keep control, and the horse might dash into the road. For additional information and advice, visit the Horse and Road Safety Awareness website.

Advice for drivers around cyclists

Drivers who don’t cycle can find it hard to understand what it’s like to ride a bike on the road.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You must leave a minimum of 1.5m between your vehicle and a cyclist when you pass by/overtake them
  • Cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast on the road – this can help inexperienced cyclists feel safe
  • Cycle paths sometimes aren’t well maintained, meaning sometimes cyclists are forced to be on the road with motor vehicles
  • Be careful opening car doors, always look behind you and check your wing mirror to see if a cyclist is passing by – a surprising amount of injuries happen this way
  • Never pull over in a cycle lane – it forces cyclists to move out into the road, putting them at risk


Not every cyclist on the road is experienced! Someone commuting to work on a bike might look the part, but it could be their very first time doing it. We all know how frightening it is to be new at something, especially when the people around us are impatient or intimidating.