If you’ve been reading the news over the past few weeks, you might have seen a lot of reports on changes to the way we drive. You might have even read a few sensationalist pieces at how cyclists now rule the roads and drivers have to act like second-class citizens. So what exactly are the changes to the highway code in 2022? Here’s our quick guide to tell you all the important things you need to know.

Who has priority on the road?

One of the big changes made this year is to who has top priority on the road. While you may have thought car drivers would be at the top, that hasn’t been the case for a while. But this has been reiterated in 2022. Now drivers have to treat cyclists as if they were another vehicle. That means giving them more space, even if they decide to ride in the middle of the road (which they are allowed to do). Even if there is a cycle lane available, the cyclist is under no obligation to use it. So be extra careful and give cyclists more time and space. It's the same at roundabouts. If a cyclist is on the roundabout, you have to give them the same space and priority as you would another car.

Junctions and crossings

Another change that has been made is to who has priority at junctions. If you are turning off the road and there is a pedestrian waiting to cross on the road you are turning into, they have the priority, even if they have not began crossing. So you will need to slow down and pay extra attention to anyone waiting to cross. At zebra crossings and parallel crossings, drivers and cyclists only had to wait if a pedestrian was already making their way across. Now the rule is that, if a pedestrian is waiting, you have to stop and let them cross.

Using your mobile phone

While using your mobile phone behind the wheel has always been banned, this has now been enshrined in law. You can only use your phone in an emergency, even if the vehicle is stationary. So no more selfies behind the wheel, no more quick games of candy crush, and definitely no more texting.

The Dutch exit

No, it’s not something from a dirty movie. The Dutch exit is a term used to describe a way of getting out of your car. Instead of using the hand that’s closest to the door, you use your other hand to reach across and open. The idea is that doing so will twist your body and mean you are more likely to see a car or cyclists approaching. It’s safer and simple, so one of the better changes to the highway code.

Charging your car

There are also no guidelines for charging your electric vehicle added to the rules. You need to ensure that you park as close as possible to the charging point and the cable doesn’t pose a tripping hazard. You should also display a warning sign advising people of the cable if you can.

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