Top 5 safety tips for city cycling
Cycling is a great way to explore any city. Whether you’re taking a leisurely ride or using your bike to commute to and from work, cycling in the city means you can exercise and avoid sitting in standstill traffic surrounded by other people.
However, like every other road user, cycling comes with the risk of an accident. In 2016, more than 18,000 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents, according ROSPA. One of the most common reason cited for people not cycling more is the lack of road safety.
Follow our top five tips to help you stay safe while cycling in the city.
Plan your route
Plan your route so you know where you are cycling and if there are specific cycle lanes for you to use. Stick to these designated routes and cycling lanes – they are there to keep you safe when you are sharing the road with other users, and generally will mean that other road users are aware that cyclists are going along the same route as them so they should be on the lookout.
Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the handlebars to stay alert to other road users. While it may be tempting to listen to music, removing your headphones means you can listen out for traffic and cars, and you will hear any warnings issued by road users or pedestrians.
Maintain your bike
Make sure your bike is maintained and is fit for cycling in the city. Check your tyres and the bell to see that they are in good condition. The chain and brakes should also be serviced regularly. Next, make sure that you are comfortable, and that your saddle and handlebars are at the right height.
Wear the right gear
There are different views on whether cyclists should have to wear helmets. From the cases that come to us, we regularly see the difference a helmet makes, and our recommendation is you should always wear one. It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you sustain an injury while cycling without a helmet, your compensation will be reduced.
If you’re cycling in poor visibility or in the dark, a high visibility jacket should be worn on top of your work wear or leisurewear so that other road users can see you. You should always have front and rear lights that work on your bike too.
Ride with confidence
Lastly, you should ride with confidence and expect the unexpected. This means:
- Not riding too close to the kerb.
- Making yourself visible to other road users.
- Signalling and manoeuvring with care (checking behind you before you move) and assurance.
The condition of the roads in the UK is often on the news, which means it’s particularly important to keep your hands on the handlebars in case you cycle into a pothole you didn’t see.
Cycling in the city can be scary but if you follow these five tips, you should start to feel more comfortable, more safe and enjoy the freedom that cycling in the city brings.
Thompsons Solicitors is an established personal injury law firm in the UK. Our team of committed specialists have decades of experience running, and winning cycling accident claims.