Cycling is a subject that always seems to start a heated discussion – with two very different opinions. A lot of drivers feel like cyclists are dangerous, blaming them for a lot of road accidents that occur. On the other side, a lot of cyclists believe that drivers don’t do enough to ensure their safety on the road – a place that they believe they have every right to be.
As personal injury lawyers who deal with hit and run claims and road traffic accident claims regularly, we have seen the consequences of accidents that have happened to cyclists and because of cyclists.
In 2014, statistics revealed that around 21,287 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents in Great Britain. This included 3,514 who were killed or seriously injured. These figures are frightening, so what can be done prevent these numbers in the future? And who is really to blame; the cyclist or driver?
Cycling Safely on the Road? Tips for the Cyclist
There are many things that a cyclist can do to keep themselves safe on the road. By following some simple road safety advice, they can avoid any serious accidents from taking place whilst out on the roads. The following advice is important to pay attention to.
Make drivers aware of your presence
It’s important that you cycle in a place in which you can easily be seen – as well as a position in which you can also see everything that is happening around you. You should also have lights on your bike – this is helpful in the dark. As well as lights, we suggest investing in reflective clothing – it could save your life when cycling at night or in horrible weather conditions.
Don’t be afraid to make eye contact with drivers and pedestrians, you want to make sure that they have seen you. Always signal your intentions clearly, so there is no mistaking your actions.
Always cycle safely
Whether you’re new to cycling or someone who does it regularly, it’s important to make yourself familiar with the Highway Code. This has the basic advice for cycling on the road, including advice on red lights, wearing helmets and cycling on pavements.
Just like when in a vehicle, it’s worth knowing that you’re stopping time may be longer than usual. This is important when cycling on a busy road in rush hour traffic. Always cycle positively and decisively – trust your instincts.
Sharing the Road Together: Tips for the Driver
Drivers also have a responsibility on the road when it comes to cyclist safety – they should do everything they can to prevent accidents. The road is for everyone, so it’s important that it is shared safely.
So how can drivers ensure that no accidents happen?
Drivers should make sure that they aware of cyclists at all times. This involves actively looking out for them – especially when turning. Indicators should be used at all times and in good time, so that cyclists can react and change accordingly.
Give them space
When driving, it’s essential to give cyclists plenty of space when overtaking. You should leave them as much room as you would leave a car! If there isn’t enough room to safely pass them – don’t do it.
When opening car doors, you should always check for cyclists first.
Abide by road signs
There are lines on the road called ‘advanced stop lines.’ These are in place so that cyclists can get in front and therefore allow them to be seen by everyone. When you see this on the road and the lights are amber or red, drivers must stop at the first white line reached.
There is no reason why drivers and cyclists can’t both share the road safely – it’s about being aware of your surroundings and always being alert.
If you do find yourself involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, AYB Law is happy to help you claim and receive the compensation that you’re entitled to.