The move to level four lockdown restrictions came with a welcome provision to allow the delivery of takeaway food. Consequently, since 1 May, the number of delivery bike riders has increased considerably.
To a degree, drivers should accept that often these bike riders take dangerous risks.
Defensive driving principles
“Additionally, the opportunity to make up for lost income also places pressure on the riders. While it can be frustrating, don’t become annoyed with them but exercise patience and defensive driving to ensure that both the riders and yourself stay safe on the roads,” says Eugene Herbert, managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert.
“A month without takeaway food and a lack of little else to do is creating increased demand.
“Avoid the South African tendency to treat anything smaller than a car with less respect than other road users. Give riders the same following distance that you would other vehicles, even more if they are riding recklessly, respect their right of way and be courteous,” he adds.
“You should already be double-checking before crossing an intersection but as more riders race around be aware of riders treating a right hand turn as a slipway rather than a stop. Another tendency of these riders is to quickly cross a lane or an intersection when it may not necessarily be safe. Assume a delivery bike rider will cross your lane and automatically slow down.
“If you see a delivery rider weaving in and out of traffic rather give them some extra room. Extra following distance gives you time to suddenly stop or react appropriately.
“If one is riding too closely behind you, rather switch lanes if possible. At dusk, it might be particularly difficult to see these riders so be on the lookout on popular routes such as in suburbs. Do not speed and even keep an ear open for the sound of their bikes,” Herbrt adds.
As the process of returning to work and a new way of life starts, be mindful of the pressure everyone faces.