Bike Safety, is simply, about exercising common sense and keeping alert. We know we have to wear a helmet and light up our bike, but this still leaves a lot out of our control. A helmet is only useful after you have crashed, and lights still leave you dependent on the actions and level of awareness of others on the road. Whilst Bike Helmets and Bike Lights are totally essential, there are a lot of strategies you can use to take control, protect yourself and avoid accidents altogether.
The first thing to consider is the places you are cycling. Busy main roads that you would use to get to work in your car are not necessarily appropriate for your bike. Decreasing the risk of an accident involves putting yourself in situations where accidents are less likely to occur. Plan your route cautiously and try to steer clear of as many main roads as feasible.
Assuming that you are visible to everybody because you are wearing reflectors and lights is foolish. You need to assume that you haven’t been spotted by other road users, and make decisions based on this assumption. That way, you’re not placing your safety in anyone else’s hands Lights, reflectors and other high visual clothing is your second line of defence.
Another thing to remember is that you never know what’s around the next corner. Stay alert and respond to the roadway you’re on. If it’s a wide road with plenty of girth for the cars, you can stay left without too much trouble. On a small road, however, it’s best to take up more of the lane, making yourself more visible to road users coming up behind you or waiting to turn into your road. You are also further from parked cars at the side of the road, which prevents you cycling helmet lighting into drivers opening doors unexpectedly.
Safety gear is, of course, still extremely important – and available from online cycle stores like AW Cycles – but it is only half of your protection against the dangers the modern world poses for cyclists. The other…