The 10 basic rules for cyclists that everyone should know to avoid cycling accidents

26.06.2024

Using a bike is an excellent way to stay fit, save on fuel costs, and reduce your carbon footprint. Whether you're a novice or an experienced cyclist, knowing the rules of the road is crucial for your safety and to prevent bike accidents. Here are ten basic rules that every cyclist should know:

1. Always wear a helmet

The most important rule when cycling is to always wear a protective helmet, regardless of the distance you are traveling. Helmets protect your head in the event of a crash and significantly reduce the risk of brain injury.

2. Ensure you are visible

Visibility on the road is critical, especially when riding in low-light conditions or at night. Using reflective clothing, bicycle lights with strobe and beacon modes, and reflectors makes it easier for other road users to see you. These inexpensive but effective devices greatly reduce the risk of bicycle accidents.

3. Follow the rules of the road

Bicycles are legally considered vehicles, and cyclists must adhere to the same road rules as car drivers. This includes obeying traffic signals and signs, using hand signals to indicate turns and stops, and riding with the flow of traffic. Adhering to these rules significantly reduces bicycle accidents.

4. Give way to pedestrians

Cyclists must yield to pedestrians on shared paths or sidewalks. Slow down and alert pedestrians of your approach, giving them ample space as you pass. These precautions can prevent bicycle accidents involving pedestrians.

5. Be predictable

Ensure your actions on the road are predictable. Use clear signals to communicate your intentions for turning, changing lanes, or stopping. Predictability reduces the likelihood of bicycle accidents.

6. Drive in a straight line

Maintaining a straight line is key to predictable cycling. Avoid zigzagging and risky maneuvers that can endanger both yourself and others, increasing the risk of bicycle accidents.

7. Use cycle lanes

When riding on the road, use cycle lanes or keep as far to the left as possible. If there is no bike lane, you may take up the entire lane, especially if necessary to avoid obstacles and hazards that could lead to a bicycle accident.

8. Beware of opening car doors

When travelling on the left side of the road alongside parked cars, be especially aware of doors that may open unexpectedly in front of you. Always keep a safe distance from parked vehicles to avoid bicycle accidents.

9. Respect other road users

Cycling is a communal activity, and you'll encounter many other road users. Show courtesy and respect to fellow cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. Responsible road-sharing minimizes the risk of cycling accidents.

10. Maintain your bicycle

Keeping your bicycle in excellent condition is essential for safe cycling. Ensure that your brakes, gears, and tires are well-maintained. Regular servicing by a professional mechanic can prevent cycling accidents caused by mechanical failures.

Riding a bicycle is truly enjoyable, but it's crucial to stay safe and adhere to road rules to prevent accidents. Key factors for a safe and pleasant cycling experience include wearing a helmet, ensuring good visibility, respecting other road users, and being predictable in your actions. Additionally, regular bike servicing is essential. Following these guidelines can help you avoid many dangerous situations on the road and reduce the occurrence of cycling accidents.

In 2022, 91 cyclists in the UK were killed, 4,056 were seriously injured, and 11,546 suffered minor injuries. While the number of accidents involving cyclists decreased annually from 2014 to 2020, there was an increase from 2020 to 2022. However, the number of cyclist fatalities decreased by 18% in 2022, even as bicycle traffic fell by 7% [source: gov.uk].

If you have been involved in a cycling accident, and it was not your fault, it happens is here to help you get compensation. We provide free advice and support at all stages of the process. Call us now on 01212 868686. We will provide you with a free consultation and answer any questions you may have.

FAQ

  • hide icon show icon

    Wearing a helmet greatly reduces the risk of serious head and brain injuries in the event of a crash. A properly fitted and secured helmet can reduce the likelihood of brain injuries by 70%.

  • hide icon show icon

    Use front and rear lights, wear brightly coloured clothing or clothing with reflective elements so that you can be seen by other road users and thus avoid cycling accidents.

  • hide icon show icon

    Cyclists are required to follow the same rules of the road as motorists. Study and regularly update your knowledge of the Highway Code (The Highway Code Rules for cyclists (59 to 82)).

  • hide icon show icon

    When riding on the pavement, slow down, warn pedestrians of your approach and avoid them at a safe distance. Pedestrians always have priority on the pavement, this simple rule will help you avoid bicycle accidents involving pedestrians

  • hide icon show icon

    The main causes of bicycle accidents are lack of visibility of the cyclist, failure to obey traffic laws, opening doors of parked cars and unexpected manoeuvres by other road users.

  • hide icon show icon

    To avoid collisions with opening car doors, keep a safe distance from parked cars and watch out for drivers and passengers who may open their doors unexpectedly.

  • hide icon show icon

    At junctions, obey the rules of the road, use hand signals to indicate your intentions and stay within sight of drivers. Make sure you can see and be seen to avoid accidents.

  • hide icon show icon

    Additional precautions include regular bike maintenance, wearing protective gear, avoiding the use of headphones and mobile devices while riding, and obeying speed limits.

More information
services icon

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT US

Free consultation