The humble bicycle has become increasingly popular over the past ten years. People use this mode of transport to save money and become healthy in the process. However, an increase in cyclists means an increase in accidents and a car is often the cause. This means that bike riders have to be even more vigilant when putting themselves in such a vulnerable position.
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Go with the flow of traffic rather than against it. Many cyclists feel safer knowing what is ahead of them but this increases the chance of being hit head on. Driving against the current will also stop you from observing road signs and if you are caught cycling the wrong way, you will be prosecuted. It it is illegal.
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Obey the law of the land and react to all signs and signals on the road. There isn’t one set of rules for car drivers and another for cyclists; all road signs apply to the cyclist just as much as they do to car drivers. So signal correctly, remain highly observant and read the road ahead ensuring that you heed all lane markings and stop at traffic lights and give way lines. It is possible to have indicator lights installed on a bike but arm signals are equally effective if carried out correctly.
Cyclists must remember that riding a bike means they are a cyclist. This does not grant them any special rights on the road and a car driver does not owe them any special treatment. There are no rules in the Highway Code which state that a cyclist has priority when crossing a street or making a turn. A cyclist should look both ways before making any such manoeuvre.
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It is important to be highly vigilant of immediate surroundings as wet leaves, potholes, stones and sharp objects could cause a bicycle to become unstable. Avoid using headphones whilst cycling as it is important to listen out for cars horns or screeching tyres. It is also important to observe parked cars which could pull out unexpectedly and to look out for car doors which could be flung open out of the blue.
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If you have become the victim of a cycling accident do not waste a second contacting someone for legal advice. Accident Advice Helpline can be reached on 0800 689 0500. This is a free phone number and you will talk to someone who will inform you of your rights and how best to proceed with a claim for compensation.
Date Published: 4th February 2014
Author: Donna Jennings