Whether you’re new to the road or you’ve been cycling for years, it makes sense to keep refreshed and on top of your safety skills. There are many ways you can keep yourself protected to ensure that you’re in the best position for avoiding accidents and collisions. Below are our top tips for safer cycling.
Superior Skill Set
Cycling training and proficiency may initially be aimed at children but it doesn’t have to stop there. National Standards training can be studied by adults and there are classes in everything from bicycle control to mapping out complicated urban routes. You can find a local instructor online.
Out of the Gutter
You should always make sure you’re at least 50cm from the edge of the kerb and stay out of the gutter. The best position for cyclists is directly in the middle of the lane, which is also known as the primary position. It means you’re fully visible to all traffic and mean cars have to overtake properly as they would have to with another car or motorised vehicle.
Eyeballing drivers sounds aggressive but in reality it isn’t. Eye contact with drivers lets you know they have seen you there and recognised your presence. Looking purposefully at drivers gives you a chance to see if they’ve actually realised you’re there and if they haven’t proceed with caution. You can avoid the danger of a ‘didn’t see you coming’ moment this way.
Signalling lets other road users know what your intentions are so be strong. You’re not askingfor them to give you permission, you’re telling them what you’re going to do and any driver with an ounce of respect will give you the space to move. Of course you need to check over your shoulder consistently and ensure the space is available and complete your manoeuvre safely.
Tactical Traffic Lights
It goes without saying you should never jump a red light. It makes you look incompetent and infuriates other drives. Wait behind the advanced stop line or in the specific area set aside for cyclists. Stay in your lane, not in the gutter and then you’ll be able to ensure you’re visible and no one can run the risk of knocking you off you bicycle – unless they’re driving recklessly.
You should only ever overtake on the right, for the sake of visibility and safety. It is only ever safe to filter up on the inside of stationary traffic but you’ll still need to watch for doors being opened, pedestrian on the road and of course never choose to go up the inside of a long vehicle as there’s the chance of a fatal accident. Always stay in your lane where possible.
Slip Road Behaviour
When a slip road is joining the flow of traffic you need to be careful to safely cross the slip road at the hatch markings before it joins the main road, of course if you need to stop then do so. You should then follow the slip road until it joins the main road.
Good cycling technique is essential to keeping yourself safe and although there are always reckless drivers out there as long as you cycle safely you should feel confident and comfortable on the roads.
Go to http://www.cyclaim.co.uk if you want to know more about cycle accidents and making a compensation claim.