Cycling can be a great way to get around. It is faster than walking, free, a great form of exercise and a way to reduce your environmental impact, which is important in a time where everyone needs to be finding ways to be green. While there are many perks to cycling, it can also be dangerous as you are a vulnerable road user. This means that cyclists need to know how to stay safe and limit the chance of an injury.
The Highway Code
Perhaps most important in terms of safety is knowing The Highway Code. The Highway Code outlines the rules and guidelines for all users of the road, so knowing what is in The Highway Code is vital for safe and legal usage of the roads for cyclists. Medical negligence solicitors, National Accident Helpline surveyed 1,000 UK cyclists about The Highway Code and what they felt should be mandatory. The findings included:
- 54% agreed having white front and red rear lights lit and having a red rear reflector at night should be mandatory
- 52% felt that wearing light-coloured or fluorescent clothing at night and in poor light should be mandatory
- 49% agreed that reflective clothing and/or accessories should be worn in the dark
Wearing High-Vis Clothing
The survey shows that opinion is somewhat split when it comes to what should be mandatory, but wearing clothing that will help you to be seen by other road users is something that all cyclists should embrace. Cyclists are vulnerable road users and as many as 46% of the surveyed cyclists had been involved in an accident. Making other road users aware of your presence is critical as a cyclist and high-vis clothing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to do this.
In addition to wearing high-vis clothing and knowing The Highway Code, cyclists also need to know how to ride safely on the roads. This includes things such as:
- Cycling in a strong road position (the middle of the lane)
- Signalling clearly and early
- Making eye contact with motorists
- Using cycle lanes
Another important aspect to consider is bike maintenance. You could know The Highway Code like the back of your hand and wear high-vis clothing, but if your bike is not in a roadworthy condition, then you are endangering yourself and others. This is why you need to perform basic maintenance and get any repairs carried out immediately.
Hopefully, the information in this post will help you to limit the chance of having an accident and injury when riding your bike. There are many perks to cycling and it should be encouraged, but you also need to be aware of the dangers and why it is so important to make safety a priority.