With the warmer weather, lighter evenings and increasing fuel costs more people are turning to cycling as a viable form of transport. Cycling is an enjoyable past time and an effective means of transport and there are ways to ensure this activity is done as safely as possible.
Firstly when driving, motorists can look twice at junctions for cyclists and motorcyclists, being patient when waiting for a suitable gap to overtake and giving cyclists sufficient space when overtaking.
When cycling, it is sensible to make sure you can be seen by other road users when out and about by wearing or carrying something light – coloured, bright or florescent in daylight. When it’s dark the use of reflective materials, armbands or waistcoat, is very effective and making sure your lights work and are clean, helping to be visible to other road users when road conditions are bad or it’s dark. Although open to personal choice, the use of a cycle helmet can help prevent head injury. Injuries sustained by cyclists after a collision are often to the head and face so wearing a cycle helmet can reduce the seriousness of these injuries if they are involved in a collision.
With the increasing use of ‘shared space’ and walkways it’s important that cyclists warn pedestrians of their presence when approaching from behind and to not assume that they have been seen and to modify their speed accordingly.
Vicki Bristow, Communications Manager for the Safer Roads Partnership says: “Cycling is popular within this region and the culture is growing, however people need to take care in order to ensure they are doing it as safely as possible. With the right precautions cycling can be safe form of transport. Our road network now is increasingly becoming a shared space for many, so we’re not only encouraging cyclists to be more aware and take on board some of our advice but also urging other motorists to take more care on the roads and watch out for other road user groups, giving them plenty of time and space.