Cycling is becoming more and more popular, and with good reason. The rising cost of living and the pressure from society for us to get fitter and healthier means that swapping the car for a bicycle kills two birds with one stone.
However, cyclists need to be much more prepared and more aware of road safety. A new government initiative, along the lines of Think! Bike urges cyclists and drivers to look out for each other. Statistics from the Department of Transport show that there has been a slight increase in the number of accidents leading to deaths and serious injuries.
The Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain Annual Report 2012 found that there were 10% more cycling deaths in 2012 than 2011 with the number of serious injury deaths increasing for the eighth consecutive year.
This has obviously called for more driver awareness as well as cyclist education, training and improved road conditions for cyclists. Many cyclists do not wear the correct visibility or protective gear and do not know how to overtake lorries safely.
Suggestions for cyclist safety are:
- Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb – look and signal to show drivers what you plan to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen you
- Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen
- Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor
- Wearing light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark increases your visibility
- Follow the Highway Code including observing ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights
- THINK! recommends wearing a correctly fitted cycle helmet, which is securely fastened and conforms to current regulations
Let’s hope that THINK! Cyclist helps to reduce accidents and therefore, deaths and injuries.
By Melanie Chisnall, personal injury team
Stephensons’ specialist personal injury team can assist if you've been injured in a cycling accident. Call us for advice on 0333 344 4772.