Important UK Cycling Safety Checklist

March 4, 2014 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Cycling accidents continue to be one of the common causes of injury and fatalities on UK roads each year. There are some important safety measures that you can follow to ensure your safety and the safety of other road users. Use the following simple cycling safety checklist each time you use your bicycle.

  1. Always carry out a simple and quick scan of your bicycle before each use to ensure it is ready for road usage. Check your tires, steering, and brakes. A more thorough check can be done weekly.

  2. Wear a helmet. This one item can save your life and prevent serious brain injury.

  3. Follow the road code it applies to all road users. Obey traffic lights and signs. Use the pathways that are designated as cycling paths.

  4. Be visible. It is important that other cyclists, pedestrians and motorists can see you so dress accordingly, for example do not wear dark clothing at night. Choose instead light colours such as white. Your Cycle should also be visible. Make sure your bike has sufficient lights, reflectors or reflective paint that can be seen at night and in extreme or bad weather conditions.

  5. Use signals on your bicycle as well as hand signals to signal your intent to other road users as they cannot read your mind. Make sure that not only can you see the road, but it is important to always position your bicycle where you can be seen.

  6. Make sure you are heard. For those road users who cannot see you using your bell will ensure that they hear you and so are aware of your presence.

  7. Always be in control. You are in charge of the bike and make all the decisions concerning where and how you travel so make good decisions.

  8. Ride according to weather conditions. Rain or wet conditions can affect your ability to manoeuvre and control your bike. Turning and braking can be more difficult or take longer to accomplish, so ride accordingly.

  9. Slow down. Speed can affect your ability to control your bicycle and limit the time you have to react to situations. A lot of accidents can be avoided by simply slowing down, especially around corners and going down hills or inclines.

  10. Learn to expect the unexpected. A lot of accidents happen as a result of turning vehicles. Sometimes there are no signals or indicators used. You have to learn to anticipate and account for that. Avoid undertaking vehicles, especially for trucks, trailers, and larger vehicles. Do not try to anticipate or beat them as most accidents occur when cyclist try to squeeze in, squeeze past, or beat these vehicles as they are turning. It is often best to just wait and travel a safe distance away from those vehicles.

Accidents can be avoided by utilizing this cycling safety check list and by being alert and aware of your surroundings. Remember that each time you use the road, you are in charge of your own personal safety and the other road users as well.

For further information and accident advice visit Priority legal.

Mark Summers is a legal specialist who writes for Priority Legal.  You can find Mark here on Google plus, please add him to your circles

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