Not a month goes by without serious cyclist fatalities on Britain’s roads. Each year, around 19,000 cyclists are killed or injured as a result of road accidents. We’re taking measures here at Vision Techniques to reduce these accidents on the roads, through clever technology implemented into vehicles. Cyclists can help themselves too by taking simple measures and following road safety advice, which can help save lives.
Road safety for cyclists
Follow the Highway Code
It sounds obvious but the Highway Code was designed to keep all road users safe. Don’t jump red lights, don’t cycle on pavements and consider what impact the weather has on your driving ability. For example, rain or sleet can cause surfaces to be slippery so you need to make sure you take into consideration stopping time.
Don’t just throw on a dark hoody or coat on your way to work, wear bright, fluorescent or reflective clothing – even in early morning light. Other key times to wear visible gear are at night, in the rain or in poor lighting conditions – for example overcast weather.
Wear a helmet
As simple as it might sound, far too many cyclists don’t bother with a helmet. Helmets make a massive difference to your wellbeing should you fall from your bike, reducing the risk of head injury. Make sure it’s fitted correctly too – the inner pads should be touching your head all the way around and the fit should feel snug.
Keep the volume down
We’re talking about headphones here. While it may be nice to cycle along to your favourite tunes on your way home from work, music offers a potentially dangerous distraction and could prevent you from hearing warnings from other road users.
Communicate with other road users
Always show your intentions well ahead of time and be aware of what’s around you at all times. Signal before you start, stop or turn. Doing this while cycling does take a bit of multi-tasking, so if you’re new to road cycling, have a practise in a safe environment before hitting busy roads.
Give yourself some space
If possible, always keep a door’s width away from any vehicles but don’t cycle too close to the kerb. By moving further into the road you’ll avoid most drain covers and roadside debris so it’s safest to keep an even distance between the kerb and nearby cars.
Get some cycle training
Cycle training gives you a good foundation for cycling on the roads safely. It will help you to develop skills, increase your confidence and get some practise on some busy roads. Even if you have done similar training before, it may be worth a refresher as we can all slip into bad habits. To find out what courses are available near you, call the National Cycle Training Helpline on 0844 736 8460