Do you cycle in a defensive position or do you just go for a ride and assume everything will be fine? If you are cycling defensively you have a far lower chance of being involved in an accident, so this is definitely the way to go.
One of the first things you should do is to be alert to your surroundings at all times. If you are going to make a turn you should take a look behind you while moving to see where any vehicles are positioned. Indicate clearly with the appropriate arm too – don’t just vaguely wave a hand about as people won’t see it.
Cycling defensively is all about not assuming certain things. For example don’t assume someone is turning left just because they are indicating they are. Similarly don’t assume the car in front is going straight on because they are not indicating they will turn left. If they slow down and you try and go up the inside of them (another bad move) you could end up being run over.
You should also give yourself plenty of room. Don’t ride too close to the kerb. This riding position also means other road users can see you better.
What could happen if you are not cycling defensively?
If people cannot see you because you are staying as far away from the traffic as possible, it increases the chances of being involved in an accident. Make sure you pay close attention to pedestrians too, since they can start to cross the road without looking and you could end up running right into them. Be wary of parked cars if someone is sitting inside as they could open their door on you. As you can see, all kinds of things can happen if you don’t consider the possibility they could occur.
Could Accident Advice Helpline help you claim compensation for a cycling accident?
Sometimes you can do all the right things and still come off worse in an accident. Don’t suffer alone though – call us if you have had a biking accident within the past three years and we might be able to help. Our free 24/7 enquiry line is here for you to call and you could speak to a professional injury compensation lawyer for more advice on your case. A no win, no fee* compensation claim could be the result very soon.