Are you aware of the Highway Code update implemented on the 29th January 2022? Don’t worry, you are not alone. 7 million drivers are unaware of the new rules for cars, cyclists, and HGVs, even though the update has been in effect for several months. The changes were introduced to protect those road users most at risk. Primarily, this includes pedestrians, cyclists, children, older people, and the disabled. Indeed, Department for Transport figures show over 4,200 pedestrians and 4,700 cyclists were seriously injured or killed on UK roads in 2021.

At Granite Underwriting, we seek to keep our brokers updated with recent road user developments. This allows you to inform customers more correctly and grow your relationships with them accordingly. As specialist underwriters of niche and non-standard motor insurance, we understand how important these changes are and the affect it will have on customer driving habits going forward.

Highway code history

The Highway Code has been around for many years and its origins can be traced back to 1920. In short, it is a collection of legal requirements that must be followed by all road users. This includes:

  • Cars
  • Vans
  • Motorcycles
  • Pedestrians
  • Cyclists
  • Horses

The Highway Code updates regularly to reflect the changing habits of modern road users.

Highway code changes 2022

The Highway code update occurred in January 2022 following parliamentary approval of eight new rules being introduced, as well as 49 existing rule updates. The biggest change comes with the introduction of a hierarchy of road users. In simple terms, this affects drivers who are most likely to cause harm to others based on the size of the vehicle they are driving. The bigger the vehicle, the larger the potential threat. All road users now have the extra responsibility to ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, with dangerous vehicles expected to proceed with extra vigilance. The Highway Code update includes further information on:

Hierarchy of road users

An updated hierarchy of road users has been introduced, placing at-risk road users at the top of this hierarchy in the event of an accident.

Cyclists at junctions

This updates previous rules for cyclists concerning turning, giving way, and improved visibility.

Pedestrians crossing at junctions

This clarifies that other traffic should give way to people crossing or waiting to cross at a junction, and other situations in which this applies.

Road positioning when cycling

Further information has been provided for cyclists, including cycling in the centre of the lane, in slower-moving traffic, and at junctions.

Charging and parking electric cars

The Highway Code now includes guidance for those using electric vehicle charge points, advising them to park as close as they can to avoid becoming a trip hazard.

Exiting a vehicle

The update advises road users to utilise the ‘Dutch Reach’ method when exiting a vehicle. This means opening the door using the hand on the opposite side to the door they are opening, where safe to do so. This potentially results in a safer opening.

Overtaking guidance when driving/cycling

This relates to updated information concerning overtaking, optimal passing distances, and advisory speeds for road users on motorcycles and bicycles.

Walking, cycling, or riding horses in shared spaces

Further guidance has been made available for road users regarding routes and spaces which are shared by people walking, cycling, and riding horses.

People cycling, riding a horse, and driving horse-drawn vehicles on roundabouts

This update confirms the hierarchy road users must adhere to when approaching roundabouts. Additionally, drivers entering a roundabout should be vigilant not to cut across cyclists.

For further information on the above updates, please consult the article “The Highway Code: 8 changes you need to know from 29 January 2022”.

No change in our quality of service!

As providers of niche and non-standard motor insurance since 1982, we understand the evolving nature of driving and how important it is to stay informed and protected. We pride ourselves on taking the time to understand risk and provide exceptional service. This means our expert team provide:

  • Flexible Underwriting: a dedicated and experienced team who underwrites each risk
  • Online Portal: for easy risk submission and issuing cover
  • Reliability: providing a consistent approach to underwriting and rating
  • Net Rated Quotations: most of our schemes are Net Rated and allow you to control and maximise your earnings

Granite Underwriting is here to update and inform our brokers of any changes that may affect road users directly. We help you to help drivers classed as a ‘higher risk’ find the insurance they need. Call 0345 092 0701 or click “Contact Us” now to discuss your requirements.


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