Serious injuries to cyclists on our roads have increased in recent years, with an increase of 4% between 2011 and 2012, this was despite the fact that the increase in cyclists on our roads over the same time period was only 1.2%, according to government statistics. Here are 10 top cycle safety tips to help cyclists to stay safe.
1. Plan your Ride
If you’re planning a long ride, or are a new cyclist, take the time before you set off to check your route. This may seem like basic advice, but accidents often happen towards the end of a ride due to tiredness. Be prepared and take a break!
2. Check your Bike is Roadworthy
Regularly check the tyres and brakes on your bike, and don’t ignore noises or grinding gears as this usually indicates a problem.
3. Have Full Control of your Bike
Learn how to control your bike with your bodyweight and make sure you can control the bike in an emergency stop situation.
4. Ride Confidently in the Correct Position
Ride away from the kerb, keeping up with moving traffic where possible. If you have to pass slower moving traffic or stationary vehicles, do so with caution at low speed so as to give yourself time to react to any hazards, such as people opening doors!
5. Ensure Good Road Communication
Make eye contact with other road users, this ensures that they have seen you. Also use hand signals to let other road users know what your intentions are.
6. Check Behind you.
Remember to check behind you frequently, this attracts attention from other road users and ensures that you are always aware of what is going on around you, not just ahead of you.
7. Know how to Approach a Junction
Claim your lane! Always approach a junction in the middle of your lane. This prevents dangerous overtaking from the traffic behind you that may be tempted to squeeze past.
8. Be Wary of Large Vehicles
Never put yourself between a larger vehicle such as a lorry or bus, and the kerb. The driver will not be able to see you if they turn left. Leave enough distance between yourself and a large vehicle that you can see their mirrors, if you can’t see their mirrors, they cannot see you!
9. Be Seen
Wear light coloured and reflective clothing during the day, with reflective clothing and accessories at night. You should also, legally, have a white light fixed to the front of your bike and a red light fixed to the rear.
10. Be Aware of Potential Hazards
Forewarned is forearmed. Recognise that potholes, oil or diesel spillages, spalling and even mud on the road are potential hazards that can cause you to have a serious accident. If in doubt, avoid altogether, change your route.
We hope the tips and advice helps to keep you cycling safe. If, however, you have had an accident that wasn’t your fault you may be due compensation, you can call the Tollers specialist cyclist injury team on 0333 414 9123.
Tollers Personal Injury - We are not personal injury lawyers by accident.