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Pedestrians and riders on two wheels can be harder to see than other road users. Make sure you look for them, especially at junctions. Good effective observation, coupled with appropriate action, can save lives.
WHAT IS A VULNERABLE ROAD USER?
A vulnerable road user is often classified into two groups: protection and capability. Due to a lack of protection, a road user is vulnerable. In contrast to a car driver, who is shielded from impact by the vehicle shell and safety equipment, a cyclist has relatively minimal impact protection.
Because of capability, a road user is equally vulnerable. A small kid, for example, is unlikely to cross a road safely in the same manner that an adult would if all safety issues were taken into account.
WHO ARE VULNERABLE ROAD USERS?
Vulnerable road users are:
- Motorcyclists and moped riders
- Elderly, disabled and inexperienced drivers
Drive with caution in shopping and residential areas. Pedestrians, particularly youngsters, can walk into traffic with little warning.
Every week, about 60 children are killed or badly injured while walking. Children may be unpredictable and hard to see. Children are especially susceptible in residential settings, especially near parked vehicles, schools, and school crossings. When reversing, for example, into a side road, practice caution. Children have a tendency to misinterpret car speeds and driver intentions. Drive cautiously and keep an eye out for young cyclists and pedestrians near schools.
Be patient with elderly pedestrians who may need more time to cross the street owing to limited mobility. Elderly pedestrians may have hearing and vision impairments, making them more vulnerable while crossing the road at intersections without the assistance of a pedestrian crossing.
You may utilise your hearing as a pedestrian to listen for oncoming automobiles. Those who have hearing difficulties may be unaware that your vehicle is approaching. Pedestrians who have difficulty walking will need additional time. Be particularly cautious when approaching partly sighted or blind folks who may be carrying a white cane or using a guide dog since they may not notice you coming.
A person who is deafblind may be holding a white cane with a red band and may be unable to see or hear traffic.
Cyclists might be difficult to notice, especially when coming out of a crossroads. Always keep an eye out for cyclists, who can be readily hidden in blind spots like the A-pillar.
Cyclists are vulnerable when their eyesight is obstructed from a car's view; for example, a driver changing lanes may fail to see a cyclist in their mirror's blind spot.
Allow plenty of space for bicycles while overtaking since they may wobble due to wind and may need to change their path owing to potholes.
Check your left mirror before making a left turn in a crowded metropolitan location to ensure a bicycle is not riding up the side of your car.
Avoid passing a cyclist only to turn left shortly afterwards.
Take additional precautions to check for bicycles at night, especially when exiting a crossroads. A cyclist's light can easily be obscured by other nighttime lights.
MOTORCYCLISTS AND MOPED RIDERS
Most motorcycle accidents occur at intersections where automobile drivers fail to take enough time looking before pulling out or misjudge a motorcyclist's speed.
Motorcycles can also be difficult to spot when they are overtaking you and filtering past in traffic.
When changing direction, such as a lane change, be extra cautious of motorbikes and check mirrors and blind areas.
Motorcycles are more difficult to see at night because their lights are hidden by the lights of other cars. When exiting an intersection, be especially cautious.
ELDERLY, DISABLED AND INEXPERIENCED DRIVERS
Allow for elderly and handicapped drivers since their responses may be slower or they may just require more time than other drivers.
Learner drivers are generally inexperienced on public roads and might be unpredictable. Leave trainee drivers space and maintain a safe distance, especially at intersections where they may use the brakes excessively. Learner drivers are required by law to show L plates.
Be aware that inexperienced drivers may not foresee and respond to situations as fast as more experienced drivers. A new driver may show green probationary 'P plates' to alert other drivers that they are inexperienced drivers.
Pass horses and horse-drawn vehicles carefully and with lots of space. On rural roads, be especially cautious near bends. Horseback riders may ride in double file at times. On the inside, this serves to protect a novice rider (typically a youngster) or a nervous horse.
Passing cattle or sheep should be done slowly and with the readiness to stop. If a herd of animals is blocking a road, stop and turn off your vehicle until they have passed.
Do not frighten animals by honking your horn, revving your engine, or speeding rapidly after passing them.