As drivers we need to be particularly careful near vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and horse riders. Always reduce your speed near schools and playgrounds, near big shopping streets, and in residential areas. Watch out for disabled and old people, children, learner drivers.
Vulnerable road users
Always drive with extra care in the following situations:
- at pedestrian crossings
- near schools and playgrounds
- in residential areas
- near pedestrian streets
- in busy and crowded shopping streets
- near bus and tram stops
- when passing parked vehicles
- near road works where when pedestrians are using the road
- on roads without designated pavement, when approaching pedestrians
In addition, be extra careful when reversing into a side road because pedestrians may be crossing the road. Make sure to look all around the vehicle and give way to any pedestrians or cyclists.
When entering a residential area, remember to give way to the pedestrians and cyclists on the pavement.
When turning at road junctions you must give way to pedestrians and cyclists who are already crossing the road into which you are turning.
Children, old people and disabled
Be extra careful when driving near children and old people. You children are not able to judge speeds and distances correctly. They may be so carried away with the game that they won't see you at all. Old people may have impaired vision and have difficulties with judging your speed. Remember that older pedestrians and disabled people may need more time to cross the street. Be patient and allow them plenty of time to finish crossing. A pedestrian carrying a white cane or using a guide-dog is a blind person. Approach a blind pedestrian with extra care. If a blind pedestrian is intending to step over the pedestrian crossing, you must stop and allow him enough time to cross the street.
Motorcyclists and cyclists
Watch out for motorcyclists and cyclists, especially when approaching roundabouts and junctions. In these areas it is especially difficult to see them. Also remember that motorcyclists sometimes travel through traffic in jams. When turning right always remember to look out for approaching cyclists (especially where the pavements have a special cyclists track). You have to give way to all pedestrians and cyclists when you make a turn unless they have red light. Make it your habit to always check your blind spots every time when changing lanes or direction. If you pass a motorcyclist or a cyclist, you should allow them plenty of space. To a motorcyclists you should leave as much space as you would normally leave to a car. Be prepared that a motorcyclist or a cyclist may make maneuvers or change direction unexpectedly, or even break the traffic rules.
On the road you may encounter a horse rider or a horse-drawn vehicle. In this case take extra care and allow them plenty of space while overtaking. Horse rider may give you signals to slow down or stop. Remember that a horse just like any animal may get afraid and behave unpredictably. Never use your horn or rev your engine when passing a horse rider or a horse-driven vehicle. This may scare the horse. Instead you must slow down and be ready to stop, if needed.
While driving on country roads you may encounter a herd of animals who block your way. If this happens, you must stop, switch off your engine and wait until your way is clear. Switch on your hazard warning lights to warn other road users. Do not use your horn, you may scare the animals. Stay inside the vehicle.
Watch out for wild life hazards, such as deers or reindeers. These animals are most active at dawn and in dusk, be extra careful and slow down in the areas marked with deer hazard signs. In these areas it is common to encounter deers crossing the road. A collision with a deer is very dangerous and can be fatal for both the animal and the driver and passengers. Usually when a vehicle collides with a deer, animal's body breaks the windscreen due to collision force and this may injure the driver and the front passenger. If you see deers on the road and they are blocking your way, slow down and be ready to stop and wait while they leave. If your speed is too high to stop and you have to pass a deer, pass the animal from behind.