Cycling is an extremely popular past time. Everyday, more and more people are out on the roads. Some people are riding to work, some ride for exercise and some just for the fun the cycling. Unfortunately, cycling accidents are all too common and serious injuries can occur. Here are five safety tips to consider when out on the roads.
1: Plan your route.
When you are planning a journey on your bike, think about the route you will be taking. How many main roads will you need to go down or cross? Are there alternative routes that might take you through quieter areas? The busier the roads, the more likely it will be for accidents to happen. You should also think about how visible your route is. If you are taking country roads there can be many blind corners. If a car is going too fast, these can be deadly to cyclists. Planning your route will give you more confidence in the journey to come and will limit the amount of potential hazards you face.
2: Be safe and be seen:
It may seem obvious, but wearing the correct safety gear is very important. If you are taking busier roads, then you may want to consider wearing extra protective clothing as well as just a bicycle helmet. The type of clothes you wear also matter. Brighter colours or fluorescent clothing is the best suited. Drivers should always be able to see you. Tighter fitting clothing is a good idea as well, as baggy clothing can get caught in the gears and cause an accident. Another element of safety is lighting. Always make sure you have lights that work on your bike, especially if you are cycling at night.
3: Stay aware:
It is very important to be aware of what is going on around you at all times. Even if you are on a relaxing weekend bike ride, you should still keep an eye out. Cars wanting to overtake, turn, manoeuvre or pull out will always be a hazard for cyclists and it is up to you to eﬀectively anticipate what is happening. It is easy to switch oﬀ when cycling and fall into the rhythm of your movements. Always be aware of what is happening around you for your safety and theirs.
Other drivers or cyclists can’t read your mind. If you are wanting to turning, use the correct gestures to indicate what you are planning. This also goes for pedestrians, try to make eye contact if possible. If they do not look at you, they may have not seen you.
5: Be Patient:
It is very easy to get angry when out on the roads. There are always people who seem to think the rules don’t count for them. In these situations, stay calm and stay safe. If someone seems to be driving erratically, stay back and simply keep away. It is more important to stay safe, than to shout at someone.