Cycling has become more popular in recent years. With millions of people choosing to cycle, safety has become an important issue.
While the benefits of cycling outweigh the risks, the following tips will help you to stay safe on the road:
Shortcut To Useful Tips
- Make sure you’re visible to other road users and pedestrians. Keep away from the kerb, wear bright or fluorescent clothing in daylight or poor light, and reflective clothing at night. Always use lights after dark, in the rain or if the weather is overcast.
- Don’t cycle too close to the kerb
- Give yourself space on the left and don’t feel you have to cycle close to the kerb if a car behind you gets impatient. By moving further into the road you’ll avoid drain covers and roadside debris. You’ll also help drivers think more carefully about when it’s safe to pass you.
- Always wear a helmet as this reduces the risk of head injury if you’re in an accident. To be effective, the helmet must be level on the head, with the pads inside touching all the way around and the strap comfortably snug.
Make Eye Contact
- Always be aware of who is around you. Make eye contact with drivers and let them know you’ve seen them. This will tell you if the driver has seen you or not, which is especially helpful before you make a manoeuvre.
Make Your Intentions Clear
- Show drivers what you plan to do in plenty of time and when it’s safe to do so. Always look and signal before you start, stop or turn. Looking over your shoulder while indicating with one hand can be tricky at first, so practise this first when you’re not on the road.
- Don’t weave in and out of traffic or change direction suddenly without signalling.
- Use cycle routes, advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings unless it’s unsafe to do so at the time. It’s not compulsory to use these, and whether you do so will depend on your experience and skills. But they can make your journey safer.
- Give pedestrians priority at all times. Some may be partially sighted or deaf and may not be aware of your presence.
- Use your bell to inform other road users of your presence. Fit a bell or horn if your bicycle is not fitted with one.
In England and Wales, Bikeability is the national programme for bicycle training covering basic handling to navigating complex traffic conditions. Both children and adults can take part in a number of Bikeability accredited training schemes across the UK.