Cycling accidents have become increasingly common recently, with a 40% increase in deaths on UK roads when comparing 2019 and 2020 statistics. However, cycling accidents aren’t always fatal and minor to severe injuries can be even more common.
Therefore, it is important to learn how to cycle safely. Here are our top tips.
1. Wear a helmet – Wearing a helmet is the biggest protector if you are unfortunate enough to hit your head. With head injuries being the main reason for cycling-related deaths, it is crucial you wear one at all times.
2. Keep your hands on the bike – There shouldn’t ever be a reason to show off by going hands-free. What matters more is your safety, and to guarantee this, keep both hands on the bike at all times.
Doing so will enable you to react quicker to unexpected circumstances. If you don’t have your hands on the handles, you may lose your balance and fall over.
3. Get Visible – If you are cycling when its dark (this may be the early hours or late at night), make it a priority to have working lights on your bike. If it is a particularly foggy or in the winter when there are generally lower light levels, keep your lights switched on.
Additionally, you should wear reflective clothing to make yourself as visible as possible to drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists.
4. Always use hand signals – It’s essential you learn road etiquette and the correct hand signals to use. This will indicate to other people where exactly you are going. Other road users aren’t mind readers, so you will need to let them know your route.
5. Know the Road & Plan Your Route – Even if you know your hand signals, if you’re unsure on your route you can cause many problems. You may panic at an intersection and offer up the wrong signal or halt to a stop and cause an accident behind you.
Therefore, prior to embarking on your journey, do your research and ensure you have a good idea of where you are going. This way you can concentrate on your cycling rather than the map. If you have been unfortunate enough to be involved in a cycling accident, speaking to a professional about what you can claim can make life a bit easier. Seek advice if you were injured or feel that the accident wasn’t your fault.
We’re very proud to bring you this feature in association with National Accident Helpline. For more features, please pay a visit to our lifestyle page.