Ask just about any motorist what the most irritating thing about driving on the road is and they will invariably fix you with a steely glare before replying ‘cyclists’. In the United Kingdom, people on bikes suffer from an almost countrywide, and frequently undeserved, reputation for being responsible for numerous crashes and incidents on the road.
How can I avoid road traffic accidents whilst on my bike?
Whilst it is undoubtedly true that careless cycling can cause serious crashes on the road, cyclists are often far from being the only ones responsible for a traffic incident. Ensuring you are not guilty of the following five bad habits can help prevent you from becoming an easy target for blame in the aftermath of an incident on the road.
- Cycling against the traffic: Whilst you may feel safer owing to the fact you can see what’s coming, cycling against the traffic is actually illegal and any accidents with cyclists in which they are doing this will more than likely see the blame lie with the cyclist.
- Staying still: As well as gears and breaks, your body weight can help you stay safe whilst cycling. For example, leaning into corners can help prevent crashes as it gives you greater control of the bike.
- Braking on corners: When approaching a corner, you should slow down before you reach it. Sudden stops greatly increase the chance of a traffic crash occurring as hurried braking has a knock-on effect behind you.
- Riding without a helmet: Given how easy it is to buy and wear a helmet and the extent to which it can limit the impact of cycling accidents, it is baffling that some people still whizz around crowded streets on two wheels without one.
- Not using the gears: There is a reason for bikes having gears. Not making the most of them makes your ride both harder and more dangerous. Regular gear changes also help you stay focused and alert, thus increasing your chances of staying safe on the road.
What can I do if I suffer a cycling accident on the road?
Providing the accident wasn’t your fault, occurred within the last three years and caused injuries which required attention from a medical profession, you may be due traffic injury compensation. A quick call to our expert team at Accident Advice Helpline can get the ball rolling on your claim.
Date Published: July 8, 2014
Author: Accident Advice