Tips for safe cycling
We handle many cycling accident compensation claims here at Stephensons and understand how dangerous cycling in traffic can be. Thousands of cyclists are killed or injured on our roads each and every year, a sobering fact indeed. Yet if everyone, cyclists and vehicle users alike, followed some simple road safety rules, this figure could potentially be brought down dramatically.
Many people enjoy cycling and these figures are by no means meant to scare people away from enjoying a day out or their commute to work on a bike as thousands of cyclists traverse our roads every day without incident.
In the hope of reducing cycling accidents, the specialist road and cycling accident solicitors at Stephensons have created a list of helpful tips for cyclists.
Wear a helmet - although wearing a helmet is not mandatory, it does help save lives.
Make sure you stop at red lights - traffic lights are there for your safety. Make sure you stop or you could risk a fine, not to mention serious injury.
Always stay central whilst on narrow roads - by staying clear of the gutter and riding away from the side of the road you reduce the risk of being overtaken by surprise or at speed by other drivers. It’s a good idea to ride towards the middle of the lane.
Be careful when riding past parked cars - try and keep at least a doors width between yourself and any parked cars as you never know when a door might fly open.
Don’t dodge in and out of parked or slowly moving cars - try and travel in a straight line, you’re more visible to passengers and drivers this way.
Keep your distance from HGVs and Lorries - large trucks may have trouble seeing you if you are too close so keep well back.
Focus - make sure you focus on the road at all times and try to anticipate what other drivers might do.
Try and make eye contact with drivers - by making eye contact you make sure a driver has seen you and vice versa.
Don’t ride on pavements - unless this is a dedicated cycle path, don’t cycle on pavements. These should be clearly marked for cyclists.
Wear high visibility clothing - hi-vis jackets, vests and luminous strips all help draw attention to yourself and make it easier for drivers to see you in lowlight.
Signal - always use hand signals, don’t just pull out or turn unannounced. Signal whether you’re turning left or right.
Use night lights - you risk a fine if you don’t have night lights. They are invaluable safety measures that drivers can see easily.
Don’t use your phone - don’t text whilst riding as it is just as dangerous as when you are driving a car. Don’t listen to MP3 players either as they drown out background noise. You need to hear everything around you whether it’s someone shouting, a car horn or a speeding vehicle.
Cycle training - whether you’re a veteran on two wheels or looking to educate little ones about road safety whilst cycling, cycle training is a great idea. It helps to train you to keep alert and provides you with some great commuter skills.
Keep your bike roadworthy - by looking after your bike and making sure the handlebars are tight and brakes are working correctly you reduce the risk of something going wrong.
Use a bell - not all pedestrians can see you, so make sure you have a bell to signal to people that you are approaching.
Never undertake a vehicle - a car may not be signalling that they are turning, but they may turn without looking.
Riding a bike to work or cycling through a city centre can be a great way to get around, so stay aware and stay safe.
If you have been injured whilst cycling and you believe someone else is to blame, contact the expert road accident solicitors at Stephensons. We have a dedicated team of personal injury solicitors ready to help you make a claim and have the expertise you need to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Claims are handled on a no win, no fee basis and initial advice is free, call us on 0203 816 0065 or complete our online enquiry form for expert legal advice and get your compensation claim underway.