Thursday 12th September 2013 – 3pm – Suzie Fothergill.
Cycling is more popular than ever. It’s great exercise, it’s cheap and it can cut down on travel time, especially during rush-hour. But cyclists are also recognised as a vulnerable group of road users therefore West Midlands Ambulance Service is providing safety advice to those who are celebrating national ‘Cycle to Work Day’ (12th September).
Each year the Ambulance Service unfortunately attends to numerous collisions involving cyclists. With cycling becoming an increasingly popular form of transport to travel to work, it is even more important to educate all road users about cycling safety and the need to follow advice to prevent serious injury.
As a cyclist, you can reduce your risk of injury by following a few simple steps:
- Keep your bike well maintained – your brakes should work properly and your tyres should be inflated to the right pressure and be in good condition.
- It is important to wear the right protective equipment. A good helmet can help minimise injuries and luminous clothing, such as hi-vis vests, fluorscent armbands and reflective belts are also a good idea to help other road users to see you whilst out on the road.
- Never cycle in the dark without adequate lighting.
- Make sure you keep to the left.
- Always look behind and give the proper signal before moving off, changing lanes or making a turn.
- Follow the rules of the road, never run traffic lights or weave unpredictably in and out of traffic, make sure you stop at pedestrian crossings and don’t cycle on the footpath.
- Watch your speed, especially when cycling on busy streets and going downhill.
- Steer well clear of left-turning vehicles, particularly trucks and buses. Be aware of their blind spots: let them turn before you move ahead.
Equally we ask drivers to be vigilant and aware of the cyclist who may be on the road.
- Always check your mirrors for cyclists before turning and be extra vigilant on roundabouts and at junctions.
- If approaching a junction and a cyclist is ahead, allow them to pass the junction rather than overtaking and turning sharply across their path.
- When overtaking give as much room as possible and pass with caution – the highway code states one car’s width. Remember they may have to move over to avoid hazards such as drains, pot holes or debris.
- Don’t park in cycle lanes