Most cycling accidents are caused by careless drivers who don’t look or don’t see the rider. The law is usually on your side in these cases, but regrettably, a slap on the wrist is not always enough for them to see the error of their ways. We need to do more to educate and encourage drivers to be weary of bikes and look everywhere to avoid accidents, but in the meantime here is some advice to make sure you can be seen and avoid those tactless drivers.
- Don’t ride too close to the kerb, but stay within the designated cycle lane. If there is no cycle lane, place your bike where there would be one.
- Check behind you when you need to move out, i.e. moving out into the road to avoid parked cars or to make a right turn. If there is a car behind you, you may want to slow down.
- Indicate! When you turn or move out into the road you need to indicate where you are going to cars and ensure they can see your signals. Where possible make eye contact with drivers so you know they have seen you.
- Avoid riding alongside large vehicles like buses or lorries because they might not be able to see you. For your own safety, hold back and wait at a safe distance behind them.
- Stop at red lights. The red lights are there for your safety so please stop at them like you would if you were in a car.
- Use lights after dark and reflective materials. Make sure you’re wearing something bright at all times when cycling to ensure you’re seen by drivers.
- Follow the Highway Code, including following ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs.
- Always, always wear your helmet!