35% of drivers don’t look before opening their car door

Survey highlights drivers’ ignorance and bad habits

Ever had that heart-in-the-mouth moment when a car driver opens their door right in the path of your bike? Then you may not be surprised to learn that over a third (35 percent) of British drivers don’t bother to check behind them before opening their car door on a road.

That alarming figure comes from a survey of 1,000 drivers from across the UK carried out by eBikes Direct, which has also exposed how ill-informed some drivers are when it comes to what cyclists can and can’t do on the road.

For example, a whopping 73 percent of Brits (and 92 percent of Londoners) believe that cyclists are not allowed to ride two abreast on the road.

81 percent of drivers believe that cyclists are required to remain on the left-hand side of the lane, while it is actually legal for cyclists to ride in the middle of their lane.

Similarly, 65 percent of drivers incorrectly believe that cyclists are required to cycle within a cycle lane if there is one.

And over half of those questioned (53 percent) incorrectly believe that cyclists are not allowed on dual carriageways.

This lack of knowledge about the road rights of cyclists surely contributes to tension between drivers and riders, with 39 percent of drivers surveyed confessing to having got angry with a cyclist.

Paul Douglas

Global Editor-in-Chief
Happy on both pedal-powered and petrol-powered bikes, Paul joins BikeRadar having just returned to the UK after an 18-month stint working in Berlin. Now back in the West Country, it's a welcome return to country lanes and gravel paths instead of hacking through the urban traffic.
  • Current Bikes: Felt Verza 10, Suzuki DR-Z400SM
  • Beer of Choice: Berliner Kindl
  • Location: Bath, UK

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