Cyclists can be very vulnerable when on the roads. They have very little to protect them against collisions with motor vehicles and nothing to prevent broken bones and so on if they are hit. This is why it is vital that cyclists and other road users look out and have respect for each other, always giving fellow road users enough space and time to get around safely.
For cyclists’ parts they can take steps to keep themselves safe while on the roads and prevent accidents.
Cyclists must ensure they can be seen at all times. At night or in bad weather this means ensuring that lights at the front and back of the bicycle, and any on their clothes, are switched on. Hi-vis and reflective clothing such as vests, belts and trouser clips can also go a long way towards ensuring they can be seen.
Cyclists have to make it very clear what it is they are intending to do at each and every turn. Hand signals must be obvious and given at the right time to ensure that motorists are not confused about what they are doing.
Motorists should give cyclists enough room and not encroach on to dedicated cycle lanes. In turn, cyclists should also respect motorists’ space and not try to squeeze past if a gap is too narrow.
All road users should exercise patience. Lights will always turn red at the wrong moment and traffic jams will always happen. Accidents do not have to. Be patient and you will get to your destination safely. Trying to rush or getting angry is only going to increase the likelihood of an accident.
Cyclists cannot assume that every other road user knows they are there. They must take it on themselves to remain as aware as possible of everything going on around them. This ensures that if danger arises they know about it and can respond accordingly.
Those who are not used to cycling on the roads are likely to be more nervous and unsure about how to act. They may benefit from a cycling proficiency course to help boost their skills and give them more confidence about being on the roads.
Accidents may sometimes happen because a bicycle is not kept in good condition, so all cyclists should check the chain, gears, tyres, wheels etc regularly for any damage or problems.