Many injuries by road traffic accidents involving cyclists trying to negotiate roundabouts are caused by insecurity or hesitation on the cyclist’s part. Preventing injury by collisions therefore starts with being assertive, showing other road users your intentions clearly and remembering that you have as much right to be there as any car.
The most dangerous areas for cyclists are those immediately fronting roads joining roundabouts, where drivers entering or exiting roundabouts may not see cyclists and cause traffic accidents by pulling out or turning left in front of them.
To prevent cycling accidents on roundabouts, it is vital to ensure drivers can see you. As most drivers will look for vehicles in the centres of traffic lanes, it is important not to stay on the edge of a lane, but to take up a central position in the required lane (obviously checking for vehicles first and signalling when necessary) approximately 20 metres before the roundabout. On getting closer, ensure you have selected a gear that enables you to accelerate and signal to let drivers behind you know your intentions.
Give way to traffic already on the roundabout, join traffic when safe to join and take the appropriate lane. On approaching the exit, signal left and exit.
Going straight across roundabouts
Following the same basic initial steps as those indicated for left turns, begin signalling left after passing the exit prior to the one you intend to take. On multi-lane roundabouts, take your position in the lane that is left-most for heading straight on, then proceed as above.
Choose the right-hand lane on two-lane roundabouts or the left-most right-turning lane on multi-lane ones. Signal after passing the exit prior to the required one, then check traffic over the left shoulder and exit, avoiding sudden direction changes.
Get off and walk
If roundabouts, especially large multi-lane ones, make you feel uncomfortable, get off your cycle and negotiate them as a pedestrian. This will add little time to your journey and may prevent potentially serious personal injuries. Keeping an eye on the road surface, especially after rain or in freezing conditions, may also prevent accidental injuries by slipping and falling off the bike.
Your right to claim
If another road user causes an accident and you suffer a cycling injury as a result, you may be able to claim for compensation. Give Accident Advice Helpline a call to learn more.
Date Published: September 30, 2014
Author: Accident Advice