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Safe cycling around lorries

Beware of left turning lorries. They do not always indicate and often swing right before turning left. The gap between a lorry and the kerb will decrease or disappear as it turns. And lorry drivers can’t see well to the left of or immediately in front of their cabs – creating a risk zone for cyclists.

​Top tips for safe cycling around lorries

  1. Avoid the risk zone especially near junctions
  2. At traffic lights stay behind, or get well in front of the lorry, in the centre of the lane, where the driver can see you
  3. Make eye contact if possible. If you can see the driver, they can see you
  4. If in doubt, stay behind the lorry – especially as you approach junctions - until you are sure it is safe to pass it... 

What can a driver see?

There is a vast difference in what a driver can see from different lorries. Standard cabs make it difficult for drivers to see cyclists to their left or immediately in front of them. Newer cabs (like the one on the right) are safer because they allow drivers to see much more around them.

Beware of left turning lorries

Left turning lorries are the leading cause of cycling fatalities in London.

Alongside following our top tips for safe cycling around lorries above, pay particular attention cycling near lorries as you approach a junction in case the lorry is about to turn left across you. 

Large lorries can also move into the centre of the road, or the right-hand lane, when they are going left to give them more space to turn. This can leave an empty space in the left hand lane: moving into this gap will put you in serious danger as the lorry begins to turn across you.

So, unless you are sure a lorry will not turn left do not pass it until after the junction.

Cyclists stay awesome

LCC is working with industry to make sure that drivers keep you safe on the roads. Alongside following our safety tips above, there are 2 other things you can do to enjoy cycling safely in London. 

- Taking a cycle training course: most boroughs will offer them for free and even the most experienced cyclists often learn something new
- Join LCC: we’ll keep you up-to-date with advice and tips on cycling around lorries, plus you'll be helping us to make London’s roads safe enough for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy cycling 

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