At Jackson Boyd this week we are supporting the Road Safety week initiative, (18-24 November). This year the theme is for everyone to “Step up for Safe Streets” and for us all to get around in safe and healthy ways, every day. Cycling is growing in popularity, with more and more of us choosing to take to our bikes.
What many of us forget when we take to our bikes is that cyclists are one of the most vulnerable groups of road users. In 2016, a Department for Transport report outlined that you are fifteen times more likely to be killed on Britain’s roads if you ride a bike than drive a car. Accordingly all cyclists must take necessary precautions to stay safe on the roads. To help you keep safe we have rounded up our top tips to stay safe when cycling.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Before you even set off on your journey -you must check your bike! Check that your bike chain is functioning properly and is in good condition. Keep your chain well oiled in the winter months to avoid corrosion and prolong its life. Check that your tyres are at the correct pressure for your model of bike and they have plenty of grip. Finally, check that your frame has no loose nuts or bolts. Although these checks take time, they are essential for keeping you safe.
Light it up!
Make sure that you have working lights on your bike, especially at night as the more visible you are to other road users the safer you will be. When cycling at night always wear reflective clothing, the brighter the better! You need to stand out and be seen by other road users at all times.
Plan your journey
Always know the route you are planning to take to reach your final destination. If you are taking a route that is unfamiliar make sure you leave plenty of time for your journey. Nothing will compromise your safety on the roads more than by rushing your journey and not taking due care and attention. Always ensure that you give other road users plenty of notice before making a manoeuvre.
Always be aware
Stay aware of the traffic around you, the biggest harm to you on the road is other road users. Do not always assume they will behave as you would you expect. Always be mindful of your position in relation to other road users, keep far enough out of the kerb that no one can dangerously overtake you but far enough in that traffic can still get past you safely.
Be adaptable to the weather
The colder weather makes a big difference to road conditions, so be aware when the roads are icy your journey will take longer and you will need to reduce your speed to minimise accidents. Always ensure that you are keeping yourself warm when cycling in the cold winter weather or in the rain. As when your body is colder, it is numb and you will have slower reaction times.