Cycling - Being seen on the road. Bikeproracing's advice for cyclists
Thursday 13th October 2016
In 2012, there were over 19,000 accidents reported involving cyclists, with 3,000 of these resulting in serious injury and over 100 fatalities.
Making sure we are seen on the roads is vital in improving these statistics. Many accidents happen to cyclists because car drivers cannot see them until it is too late to stop. This problem is worse at night and in poor weather conditions.
So what are the key steps we can take to be seen?
Wear fluorescent and reflective clothing
By wearing the right clothing you can increase your chances of being seen. Help others to see you by wearing bright and fluorescent materials in daytime and reflective materials at night.
Fluorescent clothing enables drivers to see you in daytime or in poor weather much more easily than if you are wearing dark clothing. A number of different fluorescent clothing items and accessories are available to help you to be seen by drivers.
In order to be seen at night you will require reflective clothing. This reflects light straight back at drivers so that they can see you. Reflective material is available as self-adhesive strips, stickers etc. which can easily be attached to clothes and other items such as school bags.
Reflective cycle clothing
Have the correct lights and reflectors
Use lights after dark - white at the front and red at the rear
The Highway Code requires a front white light, a red rear light and reflector at night, and you're also required to fit amber/yellow pedal reflectors
Your light must flash between one and four equal flashes per second. We think one flash per second is a bit light so go for one of the faster options
It's worth investing in more reflectors and lights than just the minimum, the more the merrier in fact. But make sure they're the right colour — white at the front and red at the back — and don't dazzle other road users.
Whatever light you opt for, make sure that there is plenty of juice in the battery before you set off.
General advice for safe cycling
Ride where you can be seen: Perhaps the most frequent error made by cyclists is riding in the gutter or too near the pavement. This often feels safer as you believe you are out of the way of cars. However, it is actually far more dangerous. For a start it encourages drivers to attempt risky manoeuvres when there is clearly not enough space to overtake you. You are also less visible not only to cars but also to pedestrians who step out onto the road. If there is an obstacle ahead it also means you have less room to avoid it.
· Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen
· Make eye contact with drivers - Always be aware of who is around you. Make eye contact with drivers and let them know you've seen them. This will tell you if the driver has seen you or not, which is especially helpful before you make a manoeuvre.
· Use appropriate hand signals when making a left or right turn