Staying safe on the road

We can all play a part in raising awareness about protecting each other on the road; whether you’re on a bicycle, scooter or car. We’ve put together some simple tips to help you think about yourself and others whilst on the road.

Riding every day means you might get a little too relaxed and can forget the important stuff. Here’s what to remember to keep you and others safe

  • Wear a helmet at all times when you’re riding – it might help save your life if you’re involved in an accident.
  • Take extra care on junctions by signalling and not swerving unexpectedly.
  • Remember COAST: Concentration, Observation, Anticipation, Space and Time.
  • Use a headlight and rear light, day and night. You should also use a red rear reflector and amber pedal reflectors to make it easier to be seen by other vehicles.
  • Dress bright, be seen. Brightly coloured clothing, preferably fluorescent and reflective ensures that you’re most visible, particularly during the winter months. If you need new high-visibility kit you can always order some here.
  • Take extra care in winter where road conditions are more dangerous. Allow plenty of time to react in damp or icy conditions – remember, braking distances should be doubled in wet weather. Avoid harsh braking (unless it’s an emergency) and brake progressively – ideally using your back brake if cycling. When taking a corner, it’s important to avoid braking and accelerate smoothly. You can lower your bicycle saddle too, to provide more traction for the wheels and make it easier to put your feet flat on the ground if you need help stopping. Leaves, debris and dirt can build up at the side of the road and around drains, so be sure to watch out for these and choose a dry line where possible.
  • Check your brakes and tyres. In wet conditions, bicycle rubber rim brake pads wear out faster. You can use harder or specialised materials to avoid changing pads constantly – or if possible, change to disk brakes. Thicker bicycle tyres with deeper tread will give you greater grip on the road and provide more protection against punctures.
  • Keep off the pavement. Pavements are for pedestrians and cycling on the pavement or through any pedestrianised area is really dangerous, as you could seriously hurt other people. This includes riding through pedestrian-only cut-throughs, even if it’s only for a few seconds. Riding on the pavement is also illegal – you could be subject to a fine. The only exception is where the pavement is clearly marked as a cycle way. It’s also important to dismount wherever you see a ‘Cyclist Dismount’ sign.
  • One way roads are for bicycles too except where a contra-flow cycle lane is clearly marked on the road.