4 Top Tips For Cycling Safety
Spring is in full swing and summer is hot on it’s heels. That means we can abandon duvet days and nights by the fire for long, calf-burning bike rides in the great outdoors. Bike rides used to be saved for serious athletes and kids on three-wheelers but, these days, it’s a more universal thing. In fact, more than 3 million bicycles can be found on the roads every year now, which is great for our precious planet but breaking news for health and safety.
Thankfully the number of cyclists being killed on the road is dropping but road accident claims are still being processed regularly and unnecessary injuries are still occurring. So with the warmer months and longer nights just around the corner, here are my top cycling safety tips to protect you when you’re out and about on your two wheels.
1. Brush up on your highway code
Okay so the chances are, since the last time you picked up a copy of the highway code, the rules and regulations you think you know inside out have changed numerous times. You might not have to sit through a gruelling hour of hazard perception ever again but do make sure you get your hands on the latest version of the highway code and brush up on your road signs, your hand signals and those all important road markings.
2. Beware of vehicles (especially HGVs)
Hand in hand with the highway code comes keeping your eyes peeled for surrounding cars, lorries, motorbikes and any other moving vehicle that could cause an accident. Junctions are where most bicycle related road accidents occur, especially when it comes to left turns, so make sure you hang back and give vehicles on the road plenty of space. Be particularly cautious with long vehicles and HGVs as these guys need even more room to manoeuvre.
3. Make sure you’re looking the part
As well as giving other vehicles on the road a wide berth for your own safety, you can take extra precautions when it comes to what you (and your bicycle) are wearing. Kit yourself out in some reflective gear, use lights after dark and, of course, never hop on the saddle without a well fitting helmet. As well as updating your safe-savvy wardrobe, make sure you run regular maintenance checks on your bicycle to ensure that everything is running in full working order.
4. Kill your speed!
Last but by no means least, keep an eye on your speed. There’s nothing more exhilarating than riding down a long stretch of road with the wind whipping around you but just make sure the coast is clear first. Check for potential hazards ahead before ramping up the gears and make sure you take things slow when the weather takes a turn for the worse or of the ground beneath your tyres isn’t in tip top condition.