With our city streets full of traffic, it’s vital that cyclists learn the best ways to stay safe. Here are some top tips from experienced riders, commuters and instructors:
Make Eye Contact
Not only should you watch what other road users are doing – be sure they know you are watching them. Make eye contact with drivers around you, so they can see that you’re in control of your space in the road.
Take your rightful place on the road and do not be intimidated by other users. This is at the core of the new approach to the on-road instruction being applied by riding coaches, treating cycles as vehicles in their own right. Keep well away from the kerb, usually about a metre, hold your space and make others pass you wide and safe.
Defensive cycling is all about staying aware of your surroundings, other road users and possible hazards at all times. Don’t just switch off when you start to pedal – you have to stay sharp and assume that everyone else is going to do the unexpected, then think about how you’ll respond.
Staying visible is vital, especially at night when city streets are alight with road signs, shop signs and other vehicles. Flashing rear lights attract the eye far better than static ones, but also cover yourself and your rucksack with as much high visibility yellow or reflective material as possible if you’re feeling vulnerable.