Talk to anyone in the bike industry and you’ll hear that cycling is more popular than ever in the UK – a view that’s certainly borne out by the experiences of many taxi drivers.
Tragically, while the number of cyclists has grown so have the numbers killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads. According to the Department for Transport’s National Travel Survey this has increased by 21% from 3,487 in 2008 to 4,205 in 2018.
With the survey also finding that two thirds of adults feel it’s too dangerous to cycle on the roads this is clearly a concern for all.
Seriously injuring or even killing someone is a fear that many taxi drivers share and can lead to stress and anxiety at work. To help you, here are some tips on how to effectively and safely share the highways with our two-wheeled friends.
If you’re new to the taxi industry, these are important driving tips to remember, and if you’re not, this quick guide will serve as a refresher.
Having the right taxi insurance in place is a vital part of responsible driving that will protect you, your vehicle and other road users.
With accident prevention charity RoSPA warning that 75% of collisions involving a bike happen at a junction, taxi drivers can do much to help reduce the chances of this happening.
Always stop or slow down when approaching a junction and look carefully for cyclists when pulling out at a junction or roundabout.
Cyclists are easy to miss when you’re in a hurry, so use your mirrors and try to expect them even in unexpected places.
Remember, even if you do spot a cyclist in time, they might be going faster than you think so avoid the temptation to pull out in front of them.
Don't drive into the 'advanced stop area' for cyclists at lights. These areas are there to create a safe and more visible location for these vulnerable road users ahead of the traffic.
Taxis come in all shapes and sizes from saloon cars to MPVs and minibuses and can be a particular danger for cyclists when turning left.
Pay particular attention to your nearside wing mirrors and any blind spots. It’s vital to notice cyclists on your nearside and warn them you intend to turn.
If a cyclist is ahead of you approaching a junction you want to turn into, slow down and let the cyclist pass the junction.
Don’t overtake and then turn sharply across their path. Sadly, cyclists are killed on the roads every year by vehicles simply turning left.
Overtaking someone on a bike can be nerve wracking both for both the cyclist and the taxi driver. At lower speeds leave at least a car’s width when overtaking. Allow even more space if you’re travelling at higher speeds.
Poor weather and hazards at the side of the road can all cause further problems for cyclists' stability that you need to take into account when passing. Don’t be tempted to squeeze past them when there really isn’t enough room, and once you’ve passed them give them plenty of space before pulling in front of them.
Always drive at a considerate speed and try not to accelerate or brake suddenly around cyclists without a very good reason. Following them impatiently or too closely can also cause needless danger.
When cyclists wish to turn right, they should move towards the middle of the road and wait to turn. This can be a daunting prospect for even experienced cyclists so give them time to make their turn safely.
Wait behind them patiently just as you would for a car, rather than squeezing past or getting impatient.
When you’re driving you’ll obviously be looking out for cyclists but what about when you pull up to let a passenger get in or out of the cab? You need to keep yourself, your passengers and other road users safe when you park, too.
When you pull up be sure to check your wing mirror and look behind you before opening the door. It’s all too easy to cause serious injury to a cyclist if you open a door in front of them. A technique called the Dutch Reach can help with this.
The Dutch Reach is a simple change of habit to help you open your door safely. Rather than using the hand closest to the door, you use the hand furthest from the door – your left hand if you're the driver. This naturally turns your body towards the window, helping you spot approaching cyclists.
Even a glancing blow can cause serious injury to a passing cyclist and serious damage to your vehicle. Having the best taxi insurance in place is a necessity to keep your business safe and on the road.
With the growth of pop-up cycle lanes our road layouts are constantly changing. Taxi drivers need to be aware of these changes and not to park in these lanes. Doing so could force a cyclist into a dangerous situation.
Indeed, if the cycle lane has a solid white line then it’s a traffic offence to park in it. Local authorities are now allowed to use CCTV to issue fines to drivers for stopping in such places.
The specialist team at Taxi Insurer understands the pressures that taxi drivers face and is always looking to come up with ways to help. After all, a taxi is much more than just a vehicle, it’s your livelihood. For example, our interest-free payment plans are here to make your payments more manageable alongside other expenses.
Our taxi insurance comes in many different forms. You might want third party, fire and theft cover, third party only cover or comprehensive cover. Public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance can also usually be added.
We’ve also added no claims bonus protection, cover for different vehicles such as minibuses and MPVs, and a 24-hour claims management service.
From single vehicles to fleets, we do the leg work so you don’t have to.
Get a quick quote for taxi insurance today.
Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.