3 Essential Safety Practices When Cycling On Public Roads

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Cycling on public roads is your right, and may be the start of a healthy lifestyle change. For instance, deciding to cycle to work instead of driving can be great for your overall levels of fitness. Bicycles are perhaps the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the world (most often powered by what you had for breakfast that morning), meaning that you’ll save money on fuel and potential vehicle repair costs too.

That said, you share the road with other car users, and as you’re much more vulnerable and exposed when cycling amongst them, it’s important to take full responsibility for your own safety. That’s not to say that invaluable assistance won’t be given when needing bicycle accident lawyer John Foy to help you against personal injury claims, but as always, it’s always good to try and prevent that outcome.

But what are the essential cycling practices to keep when cycling on public roads? In this post, we’ll discuss that, and hopefully keep you safer for the effort:

High Visibility Clothing & Reflective Gear

It’s essential to wear high-visibility clothing if you can, even if you’re cycling in the day, because we all know how drab the daytime can be in winter or during a cloudly spell. A high-visibility jacket worn over your clothes can be enough, as can making sure your helmet has reflecting lights on the front and back. This way, even the most inattentive driver should have absolutely no doubt you’re on a bike, where you are, and how close to them you’re currently cycling. 

Remain Hyper Observant

Unfortunately, you simply cannot trust other road users to be as focused as you need to be on the road. After all, if they make a mistake then you’re likely to pay for it more than they are. This is why it’s good to keep your distance, to signal clearly and reliably, to slow down if you spot a dangerous driver ahead of you, and to never assume people have seen you. So for example, you might wait to turn out of a T-junction after the last car has driven past, as opposed to wedging yourself between vehicles to save a little time. Keeping your routes clear and pre-planned, and staying as calm as you can is essential.

Don’t Trust Parked Cars

We often see parked cars as “neutral” entities on the road, but as a cyclist you can’t afford to take that chance. Any parked car can pull out without us realizing, and it’s not uncommon for car users to open their doors out onto a bicycle they haven’t spotted yet. Giving parked cars as much of a wide berth as you can will help you steer clear of this danger, and also never discounting them in your mind’s eye when observing the road could help you avoid being knocked over or taking by surprise. Some routes, like cycle lanes, have been specifically designed to help you avoid parked cars, so it can’t hurt to focus on that either.
With this advice, you’re sure to follow the essential safety practices when cycling on public roads.

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