Over 100 cyclists die on our roads every single year! With the forever encouragement to hang up our car keys and get more active and healthy, this number is only sure to rise, unless both cyclists and drivers learn to co-exist on our roads together in a safe manner.
Here at Canterbury Motoring World, we think that it is the responsibility of both the cyclists and the drivers of our roads to ensure that the above statistic doesn’t increase!
Firstly, we shall start with what the cyclists must do:
- Wear the appropriate clothing! By law, you should wear a cycle helmet that conforms to current regulations, wear reflective clothing when cycling in the dark and avoid wearing any types of clothing that can get tangled in the bike
- Make yourself visible at night! By law, your bicycle must be fitted with white front and rear red lights if you will be cycling at night. Your bike must also be fitted with all necessary reflectors.
- Use cycling routes and facilities! Although not compulsory, it is strongly advised that where possible use cycle routes, cycle boxes, toucan crossings, cycle tracks and cycle lanes.
- Do not cycle on the pavement!
- Ride sensibly and carefully! Keep both hands on the handlebars and both feet on the pedals, don’t ride too close behind other vehicles and never ride more than two abreast. Always look and signal before all turns and manoeuvers, be aware of your surroundings and other road users so you can spot any oncoming hazards. Do not ride under the influence of drink or drugs, do not hold onto any moving vehicles and don’t carry passengers unless you bicycle has been specifically designed to do so.
- Obey all road traffic signs and signals.
Now, let’s see what the drivers can do:
- Know the cyclist’s rights!
- Think of the benefits! One more cyclist means one less car on the road causing congestion.
- Appreciate their vulnerability! Weighing in at approximately 2 tonnes compared with bikes at approximately just 20 pounds, cars are more likely going to come out on top in a collision.
- Beware when turning left and right!
- Look before opening your car door! One of the biggest things that cyclists fear is being “doored”. The impact of a car door flinging open and hitting a moving cyclist can send them flying.
- Always give cyclists 3 feet of clearance! When passing cyclists, do it slowly, smoothly and with lots of room!
Most of the above are either laws we must abide by anyway or common sense, at the end of the day we just all have to be more careful and aware that we do have to all share the roads together!
Author: Rebecca McGinty