Cycle safely / Cycling near lorries
Lorries have significant areas around them where cyclists are difficult to see by the driver. Our aim is to reduce the number of cycling casualties caused by cyclist and HGV collisions.
The 'stay safe, stay back' advice applies to cyclists when cycling near to a moving lorry or approaching any stationary Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) on the road, at junctions, traffic lights or in slow moving traffic. It's important to get into a position where the lorry driver can see you.
Follow our tips below to find out how to protect yourself.
Cycle sensibly and assertively to help yourself stay safe, especially at traffic lights and junctions.
- Recognise that lorry drivers may not be able to see you
- Never cycle up the left side of a lorry stopped at a junction
- Look out for lorries turning left from beside or behind you
- Don't stop too close to the front of a stopped lorry and stay away from the lorry's front near side. If a lorry comes up behind you, move forward enough to ensure you are in the driver's field of vision
- Take up a visible position at lights or advanced stop lines: three metres out in front and not by the left kerb or very close to the lorry
- Behind a lorry is often the safest place to be. When you need to overtake a large lorry, do so on the right-hand side, so that the driver can see you
The areas of risk can be the full length of the lorry, with the driver unable to see anyone cycling beside them on the left.
Both new and experienced cyclists have been killed in collisions with lorries. This often happens when a lorry turns left, hitting a cyclist on the nearside, or when cyclists stop too close to the front of a stopped lorry.
Don't assume a large gap between lorry and kerb is safe. When turning left, large lorries always move over to the right before they swing sharply across to turn.
Don't risk your life by trying to pass lorries on the left hand side when they are stopped at junctions or are about to turn.
At Exchanging Places, you can climb into the cab of a lorry and watch for a police cyclist riding up the left side of the vehicle. You'll be surprised by just how little you can see from the driver's seat. You'll also learn more generally about how to cycle safely in London.
Exchanging Places events will take place each month. View details of upcoming events.
Watch our video on safe cycling near lorries
Find out more
Read more from the London Cycling Campaign on:
See Me Save Me is dedicated to reducing lorry danger to cyclists and pedestrians through the use of HGV safety technologies such as sensors and cameras. This campaign is coordinated by RoadPeace, a national charity for road crash victims.