Cyclists

Road safety for cyclists

Cycling is an eco-friendly way to travel and a great way to keep fit – but there are risks involved.

Bikes are easy for drivers to miss because they’re so much narrower than cars and riders are more vulnerable than drivers because they’ve not got the luxury of airbags, side impact bars and seatbelts.

We’re doing all we can to make drivers more bike aware but also we encourage cyclists to take simple steps to protect themselves.

Follow the partnership’s top tips to help you stay safe when cycling:

  • make sure your bike is serviced regularly

  • make yourself easier to spot by using choosing riding gear that that is fluorescent during the day and reflective at night

  • wear a helmet that meets the British Standard (BS EN 1078:1997) – and be sure to replace it after five years or if it gets damaged

  • use lights and pedal reflectors when visibility is poor – ask your local cycle shop for advice about legal requirements

  • plan your route making as much use of cycle routes as possible – use the cycle route planner on www.transportdirect.info (opens in a new window)

  • don't use mobile phones or music players while cycling – distractions can cause crashes

  • make eye contact with motorists whenever you can – if you can’t then presume they haven’t seen you

  • use hand signals to let other road users know what you’re planning to do

  • ride well clear of the kerb so that motorists trying to emerge from left-hand junctions get a better view of you

  • ride a car door-width away from parked cars

  • on shared paths, use your bell to let pedestrians know you're there

  • try to avoid cycling over drains and potholes

  • take a puncture repair kit and mobile phone with you in case you break down

  • consider improving your skills with some cycle training – many schools offer training for children and adults can find a trainer by visiting: www.dft.gov.uk/bikeability (opens in a new window)