With 230 cyclists killed or injured every month in Britain, it is of the utmost importance to follow these tips for your safety and that of other road users.
Waiting at a traffic light between a lorry and the path is a recipe for disaster. It hugely increases the chance of you being in the lorry drivers blind-spot if he’s turning left and may result in some unsightly injuries or worse.
Road traffic accidents:
Stay out from the kerb:
Hugging the kerb means drivers will scrape past you and cause an unwelcome fright. The best thing to do is ensure you are a distance from the path, meaning drivers have to make a conscious effort to pass you.
Make eye contact:
Making eye contact with drivers at junctions or traffic lights creates a personal link and means they will see you as a fellow road user. Smile and look at drivers behind and beside you.
Learn to turn your head:
Make sure you learn how to turn your head around with wobbling, so you can observe traffic behind you. It’s nearly all about confidence and a little bit about balance.
If you come upon a bus stopped make sure that you pass it out, do not stay directly behind. Eyeball the driver and pass or stay a good distance behind if you have to.
While neither attractive nor sexy, hi-vis clothing and bright colours may save your life. As a cyclist it’s all about being noticed and marking yo001544/ur position on the road to other motorists.
Protect your noggin:
Always wear a helmet, no matter if you’re just cycling to the shops wear a helmet. Your head may seem hard but it’s no competition for the ground or a car’s bonnet.
Sure motorists are a thick bunch but always try to keep a level head. Never bang on car windows or mouth the F-word at other road users. It just concretes the image of the angry, selfish cyclist in other’s minds.
Maintain your bike:
Oil it regularly and keep a repair kit handy. There is nothing worse for all than your chain jamming as you’re trying to pass a bus – it’s dangerous and also causes you undue grief.
Plan your route:
If you don’t want to mistakenly end up on a motorway surrounded by cars, plan your route. This will mean you can have side streets over three lanes every day.
Make sure to cycle with a friend; if you haven’t cycled for a long time, or if you haven’t cycled ever before. Watch them from a distance and see what they do, there is no easier way to learn than through good demonstration.