Road safety measures for Cyclists
The number of cyclists killed increased by 10% from 107 in 2011 to 118 in 2012 and the number of cyclists reported to have been seriously injured increased by 4% from 3,085 in 2011 to 3,222. These figures are supported by the fact that in 2012 Pedal cyclist traffic levels are estimated to have risen by 1.2% which means and increased number of people coming on the roads and potentially being vulnerable to accidents and injuries.
Here are a set of generalized rules that if not guarantee the safety of a cyclist, will make him comparatively safer than he would have been prior to knowing and applying them. Though these rules in themselves provide a good enough guide to cyclist safety, they are not whatsoever exhaustive in nature and the only guide. One can only take more and more safety measures.
1. Another key figure tells us that the unpredictability of bicycle riders and their lack of appreciating the seriousness of signs and signals results in accidents and dangerous situations on the road. A bicycle rider needs to look and signal drivers what he plans to do and make eye contact where possible so you know drivers have seen them.
2. Though a fair amount of the public that uses this form of transportation do so as a financial alternative to other means of transport. But it is vital to always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor.
3. Reflective clothing also needs to be mentioned here as it is one of the most important things that cyclists are visible to other road users especially in the dark as a bicycle can very easily be ignored or missed or simply even be camouflaged with the surroundings. So it’s vital that cyclists are visible to other road used. For which reflective bag-packs or clothes are readily available in the markets. Believe it or not they will save your life.
4. Follow the Highway Code including observing ‘stop’ and ‘give way’ signs and traffic lights.
5. Wearing the right kind of safety equipment for any job or activity in the world is pivotal to the very nature of that act, so is the case with cycling. Helmet, knee and elbow pads are encouraged by many to be worn during cycling and its utterly important that a cyclist does not ignore wearing the helmet as the area of the body that usually ends up in most cycling deaths is the injury to the head. And thus protection for the head is absolutely critical.
6. Studies have shown that children younger than nine do not have the skills to judge the speed and position of approaching vehicles that are needed to safety cycle unsupervised. For this there needs to be an investment of time and attention by parents on to their children and also there are courses and training exercises that help enable you to judge more accurately.
7. Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the curb. Many researches show that a fair amount of accidents involving bicycles are a resultant of the bike rider not being confident on the road. A psychological aspect to this thus is vital and a positive and confident mind is pivotal to riding a bike on a main road.