Just like with all journeys, whether it’s walking, running, cycling or driving, it is important to plan your journey. This involves knowing the route you’re going to take and ensuring you take into account circumstances such as tiredness, traffic conditions, the weather etc.
A tip for new inexperienced cyclists to avoid hazards is to use quieter roads wherever possible, as there is a lower risk of accidents occurring due to either your own error or the error of other road users.
Riding positively is another way that you can dramatically reduce the risk of an accident happening while you are cycling. This involves being well clear of the kerb, looking to ensure you’re in the correct road position and so you know where other cars on the road are and finally ensuring other drivers know what you’re doing on the road, which means signalling when turning.
You can also ensure that other drivers have seen you by making eye contact with them. Doing this makes you more positive that other drivers are aware of you and what you’re doing and therefore puts you in a safer position.
Sustrans have a great little article help you become and stay a <a href=”http://www.sustrans.org.uk/what-you-can-do/cycling/cycling-safety-and-rules/road-safety-cyclists”>safe cyclist</a> – because it’s important that you ensure you’re taking the right safety precautions so that you <strong>stay safe when cycling</strong>.
Staying safe means that you need to ready to take action in certain situations, for example if there is a vehicle turning up ahead and you are unsure as to whether or not it is actually going to take the turn, then drop back from them.
You should also ensure that you never undertake when there is a turning are you may not always be able to see a cars signal and therefore put yourself at risk.
We have seen so many incidents where riders have ridden alongside a vehicle (i.e. lorry, car, van and buses etc.) only to be involved in an incident when it suddenly turns left
Many vehicles have big blind spots or sometimes a driver may have checked a moment ago and you weren’t there then they fail to check just before their turn.
Wearing a helmet is also imperative where cycling on the road and reduces your risk of serious injury significantly. They might not always look cool, but they are essential.
Cycling at night puts you at a higher risk of having a road incident as you are a lot less visible. To <strong>ensure your own safety</strong> and the safety of other road users you should be sure to always have bike lights on as well as wearing some sort of bright florescent clothing if possible as this gives you the most chance of being seen by other road users and therefore the least amount of risk when cycling in low visibility or at night.
Wearing this type of clothing is also imperative when visibility is poor, which means in snow and also when it’s foggy.
Just like other road users you must obey the bike safety rules of the road, which means obeying the <a href=”https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/rules-for-cyclists-59-to-82″>Highway Code for cyclists</a>, obeying all street signs and stopping at lights. This also means having a safe road position (i.e. keeping well to the left as not to impede other road users and ensuring that when there are parked cars you keep at least a metre away from them etc.)
This is to ensure that when cycling past a parked vehicle someone doesn’t hit you when opening their car door. If you are in an unsafe road position it puts not only you but other road users at risk and therefore correct road position is vital, this also involves using designated cycle paths wherever possible.
These lanes are designed specifically for cyclists and therefore you are at the least risk of having an accident here as cars and pedestrians can impede you.
Have fun on the roads, and please be safe.