Friday 29th November
Before you, or your children, venture out on two wheels, here are some simple steps to help you get ready for the road.
Cycling provides excellent exercise and is an environmentally-friendly mode of transport. It’s also great fun for all the family without breaking the bank. However, with a five-year high of 122 cyclists killed in the UK in 2012, and around 3,000 seriously injured each year, it’s important to take precautions. We’ve compiled some top tips to help you stay safe on the roads:
- Wear a helmet that conforms to approved safety standards, and ensure that it is the right size. You should replace helmets that have been dropped or damaged in any way.
- Never cycle on pavements. Either use cycle paths where available or cycle on the road, keeping a safe distance from the kerb. Try to leave the width of a car door between you and any parked cars.
- When cycling at night, ensure you’re wearing reflective clothing or accessories, and use lights – white at the front and red at the rear. You can be fined if you do not have them.
- Pay attention to other road users and what is going on around you. Try to have an awareness of what drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists may do.
- Fit a bell to your bicycle and use it – it will help make others aware of your presence.
- Never use a mobile phone or wear headphones – this will impair your awareness of other road users.
- Familiarise yourself with the Highway Code – cyclists need to know this just the same as any other road user.
- Finally, why not take a cycle training course? Not only will this teach you the basics of cycling, a good course will make you a safer cyclist, by increasing your confidence around other traffic, and making you mindful of other road users. Courses cover different standards of proficiency and some focus particularly on cycling in cities.
Find out more
The Highway Code lists specific rules for cyclists, while the Department for Transport has some helpful tips for parents who want to teach children about cycle safety