With the success of our Olympic cycling team at London 2012, cycling has never been more popular. But the increase in cyclist numbers has led to a corresponding increase in cycling accidents, with more and more cyclists making personal injury claims as a result.
While accidents do happen, there are a few key safety suggestions that every cyclist should follow to keep safe while out and about especially during this dark winter weather.
1. Be visible
A lot of collisions happen because people do not ‘see’ the cyclist on the road. To stay safe, cyclists should make sure they are as visible as possible to fellow road users at all times. Bright or luminous clothing and reflective strips are a must, even during the daytime. When cycling at night, the law states that you must have lights at the front and rear of the bike. It’s a good idea to buy the brightest lights you possibly can and always remember to carry a spare in case they break.
2. Always wear a helmet
If you’ll pardon the pun, this one is a ‘no-brainer’. If you are knocked off your bike and your head hits the ground unprotected, your head will break. If you are wearing a helmet, it’s the helmet that will break. Helmets are replaceable, heads are not. In an accident, this simple piece of equipment costing as little as £20 could be the difference between life or death.
3. Get some training
If you are new to cycling or are not confident on the road, a short cycle training course will be money well spent. Good cycle training will teach you how to cycle safely yet assertively, giving you all the skills you need to stay safe on the road.
4. Obey the law
Cyclists often get a bad name for jumping red lights, cycling on pavements, or going the wrong way up one-way streets. You should always obey road signs, signal your intentions clearly, and never go through red lights. Cycling within the law makes the roads and pavements safer not just for you, but for other road users and pedestrians.
Following these easy safety tips will hopefully mean your cycling trips will all be happy and accident-free. But, if the worst happens and you are unlucky enough to have an accident, a personal injury claim will help you to get compensation for any injuries you sustain.