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Bicycle Safety

Hints & Tips

Bike accidents can and do happen, if you follow some basic safety tips then you will ensure that you minimise the risk of accidents occurring.

Before even setting off on your bike ensure that you have read and understood the Highway Code, you have as much right to be on the road as others however you should follow the same rules as all other vehicles.

If your bike is new to you or you are new to cycling, then practice in a quiet area before venturing out. You should be able to ride in a straight line, be able to look behind and signal and also know how all the gears work and how effective the brakes are.

Ensuring that you can be seen on the road is essential; wearing bright visible clothing will help enable other road users to see you. Your bike should have at least one reflector, the best place for these are normally on the pedals, and your bike should also be fitted with lights.

Only cycle on pavements or paths that state that you are allowed to cycle on them, some of these paths are shared with pedestrians. If you are cycling on a shared path then be considerate of pedestrians, allow plenty of room to overtake and slow down or stop if necessary, take care at corners or obstructions and always keep to your side of the path.

When driving in traffic or busy areas, as a cyclist you should always be alert. A car is a much bigger vehicle than a bike, if the car driver is not paying attention to the road this could cause you and your bike some serious damage. When overtaking stationary traffic, it is advisable to be cautious, doors can open from nowhere and vehicles can suddenly move off without even knowing you are there. When cycling on busy roads you should be careful when approaching left hand turns, cars travelling behind you could attempt to overtake you and cut straight across your path.

If cycling in rain or poor weather conditions then you should try to wear high visibility clothing and ensure your lights are on, motorists ability to see you will be reduced significantly because of poor weather conditions. Weather conditions can also affect the way your bike will function, the brake blocks if wet may take longer to stop the bike. Road surfaces will also be more slippery so care should be taken when driving across metal road covers or oil patches. Rainfall may also leave a lot of surface water on the roads; motorists may drive straight through this catching you unaware.