Cycling is one of the best modes of transport there is. Free, fun and healthy, it beats walking and driving a car any day. However, if you are fairly new to the joys of cycling, one of the things that should be top of your mind is staying safe on the road. Here are some of the main things to keep in mind to ensure you stay safe while cycling.
Respect the Rules of the Road
The fact that you are on your bike does not mean you can choose to ignore the rules of the road. It is illegal (and dangerous) to cross a red light or ride on the pavement, so always stick to the rules. Also, make sure you give pedestrians priority at all times.
Keep Clear of Parked Cars
When you are riding alongside parked cars, make sure you keep at least a door’s width between you and the vehicles. Otherwise if someone opens their door suddenly it could lead to an accident.
Make Sure You Are Visible
Make sure you are visible to other road users at all times. This means wearing bright colours during the day and reflective clothing at night. You should also fit lights to your bike that you can use at night or in bad weather conditions to improve your visibility.
Wear a Helmet
A helmet can reduce the risk of serious head injury if you are involved in an accident so you should always wear one. Find one that is comfortable for you to wear and never leave home without it.
Always Signal with Your Hands
Never make a turn without first signalling your intentions to other road users. Use clear hand signals to show what you are planning to do at all times.
Don’t wear headphones when riding your bike as you need to be aware of what is happening around you. You should also avoid using your mobile phone as this can be very distracting.
Get Some Training
Consider taking part in the Bikeability scheme if you are new to cycling because this will teach you how to stay safe while cycling on the roads.
Use Your Bell
Make sure you use your bell to alert drivers to your presence. Making sure that other road users know you are there can help to prevent accidents, so if you do not have a bell or horn fitted to your bike make getting one a priority.
Make Eye Contact
It is a good idea to make eye contact with other road users to make sure that they have seen you. If you make eye contact you know that they are aware of your presence, and this can help before you turn off the road or make a manoeuvre.
Stay Safe On Your Bike
Cycling is a great way to get around, but it is not much fun if you have an accident or end up hurting someone else. Keep the above tips in mind when cycling as they will help you to enjoy a safer and more enjoyable experience when on the road.