With the cost of fuel soaring and the onset of warmer weather, many people are choosing to cycle to work. If you’re considering this, you’ll likely be riding in traffic so what can you do to keep yourself and other road users safe? Follow our tips.
- Keep a safe distance from the kerb so you’re more visible to drivers. If someone overtakes too closely you will have space to move to the left.
- Look ahead for changes in the road surface, e.g.pothotes, and be aware of approaching junctions, roundabouts and traffic lights. This will help you avoid serving, braking or making sudden manoeuvres.
- Keep an eye out for pedestrians looking at their mobiles, dogs not on leads or children who are kicking footballs. Stay alert and react as necessary.
- Give other road users plenty of notice before making a manoeuvre. Check behind, signal, and make your manoeuvre when it’s safe.
- Make eye contact with drivers to help you assess whether they’ve seen you, but don’t assume they have and be ready to brake to steer as necessary.
- Watch out for left-turning lorries as many have blind spots on their passenger side. A good rule is to not undertake them and put yourself at risk.
- Encourage others to do the ‘Dutch Reach’. This is for drivers and passengers where, rather than using the hand closest to the door to open it, they use the other hand. This manoeuvre sets off a set of actions; reach, swivel, look back, open slowly and exit facing traffic. The technique has helped save many cyclists from injury or worse.
- Light up your bike not just when it’s dark, but in the daytime when visibility is poor. A good practise is to carry a spare set of lights when you cycle at night in case the first set fails.
- While cycling, keep your hands on the brake levers at all times. When braking, apply even pressure to both brakes and take extra care when the road is wet or icy.
- Consider some cycle training. Instructors can help you learn more about road safety and help build your confidence.
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