Cycling on the road can be tricky at the best of times. You need to be constantly aware of your surroundings. By reading these safety tips you can prepare yourself for dangerous situations you’re likely to come across.
Just like cars, when the red light appears you need to stop too. You may be scoffing at this suggestion but people still do it, just as cars do – don’t take the risk. Unlike when a car jumps a red light, as a cyclist you will definitely end up worse than the other party. It could cost you more than a £30 fine. (That’s $45 in the U.S.)
When moving around an obstacle such as a parked car, always check over your shoulder that the coast is clear. Although you may be ahead of a car, don’t assume the driver will slow down and allow you into their lane. If the parked cars are spaced out, you should ride in a straight line rather than dodge in and out – motorists will just have to wait to overtake you.
When approaching corners where cars can turn left, make sure you position yourself in between cars. Riding next to a car when approaching a left turn could cause an accident, particularly if you are in the driver’s blind spot.
Large vehicles like buses can make passing on the curb dangerous, but you need to be wary of travelling between them too. Resist the urge to shoot through at the mere sight of a gap as it can close just as quickly as it appears. The large structure of a bus can make it difficult to read the road ahead which may cause a gap to get narrower – be patient.
Drains and gutters
It can be tempting to ride as close to the curb as possible to make it easier for drivers to pass you by, but drains and gutters pose their own problems. Not only is it uncomfortable to ride over these, they could cause your bike to suddenly stop at any moment which could lead to you flipping over your handlebars. These hazards can also be extra slippy when wet.
It’s annoying when cars turn without signalling isn’t it? Well, it’s the same vice versa too. No one can read minds so signalling can help motorists act in advance to accommodate you.
Fingers on brakes
After a period of cycling on the road without any accidents you’ll start to feel safe. But letting your guard down is when accidents are most likely to happen. One of the first signs of over confidence is taking your fingers away from the brakes. This however prevents you from making an emergency brake out of the blue.
Jasey Rae is a passionate cycling blogger and writes on behalf of Access Legal.
For more information visit Cyclist Safety,
An added note: wearing a high-visibility vest is another safety suggestion for cycling.