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Ask a Driving Instructor

Whether you are learner driver or an experienced motorist, you can email any driving-related question to info@wycombedrivingschool.co.uk and you will receive a personal response from Wycombe Driving School boss Audrey Wixon, pictured. The best questions and answers will be published on this website anonymously.

Audrey is a DSA ADI; DIAmond, IAM and RoSPA Gold Advanced Driver; Fleet Trainer; Observer for Institute of Advanced Motorists; & National Standard cycling instructor

Audrey Wixon - manager of Wycombe Driving School
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Why don’t bicycles have mirrors like motorbikes?

Q: Why don’t bicycles have to have mirrors like motorbikes do? Some cyclists are an absolute menace on the road, swinging out to turn right without an arm signal and sometimes without even looking! If they had mirrors, they would be more aware of what is happening behind them.
mirror on bicycle handlebars A: The problem with bicycle mirrors is that vibrations in the handlebars can knock the mirrors out of adjustment as well as blur the image. Also what a cyclist can see behind them depends on which direction their handlebars are pointing and the field of vision is quite narrow compared to the side mirrors on a car.

Bicycle mirrors are useful for monitoring the traffic behind but when cyclists change direction, they should only use mirrors in addition to a glance over the shoulder. I suspect this is why many cyclists don’t bother with them.

From the motorist’s point of view, a cyclist’s shoulder glance is sometimes the only indication you get that they are going to cut in front of you - so if cyclists depended more on mirrors, that might actually make things worse for drivers.

Most cyclists behave sensibly on our roads but I agree there are some who ride recklessly, just as some motorists are reckless. But when a motorist comes across a cyclist, the responsibility for keeping things safe must fall mostly with the driver because they are the one with a lethal weapon.

Even sensible cyclists are apt to swerve around potholes and drain covers, slow down when they get tired and wobble in the wind or when going uphill, so always give them plenty of space.
Audrey Wixon
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Wycombe Driving School - for driving lessons in High Wycombe and surrounding areas - including Amersham, Beaconsfield, Marlow, Hazlemere, Stokenchurch and Princes Risborough. We offer successful, structured driving lessons, providing free theory test software and lesson handouts. Male and female driving instructors are available, providing both manual and automatic driving lessons.