How to keep yourself safe when cycling on the road

When people think of road traffic accidents, they tend to envisage cars crashing into each other. But a large number of people every year are killed or injured in accidents while riding a bicycle. In 2018 alone 99 cyclists were killed and there were in excess of 17,000 injuries sustained on Britain’s roads.

With many of us looking to get back to work but avoiding public transport we are being encouraged to take to our bikes, with Transport for London predicting a tenfold increase in cycling.

But while cycling may be a good option for getting around, people need to be careful on the roads. Legal service provider, First4Lawyers have pulled together this guide on what you should do to stay safe while cycling?

Consider getting some training

Many might think cycle training is just for children, but that is not the case. Even if you have been riding a bike for years you may have lapsed into bad habits such as passing too close to car doors or keeping too close to the kerb which could cause a road traffic accident. Getting some training can eliminate these mistakes and make you a better rider.

Wear a helmet

While wearing a helmet isn’t guaranteed to save your life it will provide your head with some protection should you fall off or you are involved in an RTA.

See and be seen

Wearing bright or reflective clothing so motorists can see you is a good idea. This is especially the case in the dark or on cloudy days. Also, look around at regular intervals and make eye contact with drivers at every junction you pass.

Make sure your bike is roadworthy

Check your tyres, brakes, chain and saddle on a regular basis. Poor brakes will prevent you from stopping in time in the event of an emergency and soft tyres will make you more likely to skid.

Sit up straight

This will help your balance and make it easier to signal with your arm. It also makes you more visible.

Don’t ride up the inside of lorries and long vehicles

Never ride up the inside of long vehicles such as lorries and buses. This is a common cause of cyclists’ injuries and fatalities during road traffic accidents and should always be avoided.

Be alert

Although it may be tempting don’t wear headphones or listen to music. You need to be aware of everything that is going on around you.

Ride with a buddy

Two cyclists are more visible than one and if something happens to you they can call for assistance.

If you follow these tips you stand a greater chance of being safe on the roads and avoid injury during a road traffic accident.