Whether it’s forschool and work, or pleasure, cycling has many benefits. It’s convenient, environmentally friendly and can help you keep fit.
How to cycle safely
Look behind you before you decide to turn, overtake or stop.
Before you turn right or left, use arm signals.
Obey traffic lights and road signs.
Don’t ride in the pavement unless there’s an indication saying that one could.
On busy or narrow roads, don’t cycle next to another person.
When overtaking parked cars, look out for car doors opening suddenly and allow room to pass safely.
Don’t use headphones while cycling.
Never use a cellphone while cycling.
Cycling is becoming more popular recently, especially on the back of the success of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics. With millions of people now deciding to cycle, safety factors are an increasingly important issue.
The Bikeability scheme is designed to help parents and children ride confidently and safely on today’s busy roads. It is the current equivalent of a cycling proficiency scheme.
Tips on cycling safely
While the advantages of cycling outweigh the risks, the following tips will help you to stay safe on the highway:
Be visible to other road users
Be sure you’re visible to other road users and pedestrians. Wear bright or fluorescent clothing in daylight or poor light, and reflective clothing at nighttime. When the weather is overcast, always use lights after dark, within the rain or.
Don’t cycle too next to the kerb
Give yourself space around the don’t and left feel you need to cycle near the kerb if your car behind you gets impatient. By moving further into the road you’ll avoid most drain covers and roadside debris. You’ll also help drivers think more carefully about when it’s safe to pass you.
Protect yourself with a helmet
If you’re in an accident, always wear a helmet as this reduces the risk of head injury. To work, the helmet must be level on the head, with the pads inside touching all the way around and the strap comfortably snug.
Make eye-to-eye contact with drivers
Always know about who is near you. Make eye-to-eye contact with drivers and inform them you’ve seen them. When the driver has seen you or not, which is especially helpful before you make a manoeuvre, this will tell you.
Help make your intentions clear to other road users
Show drivers whatever you plan to do in a lot of time and when it’s safe to achieve this. Stop or turn, always look and signal before you start. Looking over your shoulder while indicating with one hand may be tricky at the beginning, so practise this first when you’re not on the road.
Don’t weave inside and out of traffic or change direction suddenly without signalling.
Use cycle routes, advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings (dual cycle and pedestrian crossings) unless it’s unsafe to achieve this at the time. It’s not compulsory to use these, and whether you do so will depend on your skills and experience. But they will make your journey safer.
Give pedestrians priority at all times. Some could be partially sighted or deaf and might not be aware of your presence.
Make use of bell to tell other road users of your own presence. If your bicycle is not fitted with one, fit a bell or horn.
Legalities for cyclists
It’s up against the law for cyclists to:
Cycle through red lights, including lights at pedestrian crossings.
Cycle on pavements, unless there’s a sign showing that the pavement has been transformed into a cycle path.
Cycle the wrong way up a one-way street, unless there’s a sign showing that cyclists are capable of doing so.
Ride across pedestrian crossings, unless it’s a toucan crossing with a sign saying that cyclists can do so.