More than half of all drivers have been cut up by another road user who didn’t look properly in the last six months, according to latest research from motoring charity the IAM.
And 40 per cent of these near misses took place in 30mph zones.
But 58 per cent of drivers are most likely to blame others for not concentrating.
These incidents are known as SMIDSYs – ‘sorry mate I didn’t see you’ – which is often the reaction of the perpetrator when these events result in accidents.
Failure to look is a contributory factor in 29 per cent of serious collisions and 36 per cent of slight accidents according to IAM research.
83 per cent of drivers said that these incidents would decrease by improving drivers’ awareness of motorcyclists.
52 per cent of drivers have had a near miss with a cyclist, and 59 per cent of drivers suggested there needed to be better enforcement of the law for cyclists.
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “SMIDSY moments are happening far too often, and very few people are prepared to take responsibility for their part in them. It’s always someone else’s fault.
“All road users need to be more aware of who they are sharing the road with, and the risks they present.
“Other road users’ intentions can often be guessed by their body language and position on the road, so drive defensively, and leave room so that if somebody does do something unexpected, you have time to deal with it.”
The IAM recommends these top tips for drivers to share the road:
> Keep an eye out for motorcyclists and cyclists and give them extra space
> Use your mirrors so you see bikes approaching from behind. In particular check your mirrors before changing direction, especially in traffic queues
> If a motorcyclist or cyclist is trying to get past in heavy traffic, let them. Don’t try and hinder their progress because you are stuck
> Give clear and early signals to allow other road users time to react
> Don’t cut up a cyclist when turning left. Never overtake then turn left across their front wheel
> Overtake gently. Passing a cyclist quickly might feel safe to you, but it doesn’t to the cyclist and the closer you are, the more this is the case
> Leave cyclists enough room when you pass them to allow them to move out to negotiate drains and potholes
> Check for bikes before opening the driver’s door when you’ve parked.