At first cycling safely on the roads can seem impossible. How could you possibly get around safely on the roads without the protection of metal box keeping you safe? There are a few simple rules to follow while cycling on the road, that will help to keep you safe. You must maintain awareness, dress to be seen and respect the rules of the road.
Awareness – while cycling on the roads
The number 1 rule for cycling safely on the roads is to be in the moment and have an awareness of yourself and your surroundings at all times. You should look down the road and try to preempt what other road users are going to do and assess whether any obstacles are coming up (especially important in wet conditions).
Maintain an awareness of other road users limited line of sight and be prepared for them not always to be paying attention. Do not go on the inside of vehicles when coming up to a junction. Especially longer vehicles, such as buses and lorries, they have large blind spots and will not see you on the inside (and there is only going to be one winner between a cyclist and 18-tonne lorry). When approaching a turning or junction, pay attention to the vehicle’s indicators and wheels, this will help you to preempt what way they are going. Ride predictably and be aware of how other road users perceive you.
You may think that because you are riding a bike, you can have a few extra pints get home safely from the pub, but alcohol (and drugs) seriously hampers your spatial awareness and reaction speeds (it is not worth it). Finally, you need to be able to hear your surroundings as well as see what is going on. Avoid cycling with headphones in, or if you do, only have one ear in, so you can be aware of passing traffic.
Cycling safely on the roads means maintaining awareness of yourself and your surroundings at all times.