Safety Tips for Cycling

Need for Safe Cycling

Like walking, cycling is an important means of transport for making a part of a trip or a whole trip to work, school, or to shop. Yet every year 41000 cyclists die in road traffic-related incidents worldwide. Therefore, it is required to include measures to reduce road traffic danger caused by motorized transport to the cyclists. The Sustainable Development Goal 11, Target 11.2. It calls for cycling to be promoted and prioritized as an accessible means of transport for many people and to improve the infrastructure for cycling, walking and public transport around the world. After pedestrians, bicycle riders are the second most vulnerable road users. Before the evolution of motor vehicles bicycles were most popular mode of commuting. Even today bicycle is most preferable medium of transportation for traveling short distances. The following measures should be adopted by cyclists to ensure road safety:

  • In case of no separate bicycle lane, ride at the left side of the road.
  • Wear proper clothes that do not get stuck in the chain wheel.
  • Wear light coloured, fluorescent clothes during night.
  • Fix reflectors and lights at front and rear sides of the bicycle.
  • Only one person should ride a bicycle.
  • Do not tailgate a or ride by holding a moving vehicle.
  • If there are multiple bicycle riders traveling together, they must move one behind other in a single file.
  • Use properly sized bicycle helmet and fasten the strap properly.
  • Never allow children to cycle on road unless and until they are not trained and experienced.

Health and Other Benefits of Cycling

Cycling offers many health benefits such as:

  • It can easily be driven on minor roads.
  • It is an appropriate mode of transportation for a person.
  • Cycling is not expensive to ride and it is economical to maintain.
  • It offers a good physical exercise.
  • Build muscle strength.
  • Keeps heart fit.

Common Mistakes Made by Bicycle Riders

  • Cycle is suitable for only one rider. At times riding more than one passenger or loading goods on bicycle could cause risk of becoming unbalanced.
  • Usually, bicyclist assume that traffic rules are not meant for them so they ride in undesired lanes and do not follow traffic rules.
  • On a red light near a junction, they stop way ahead of the stop line.
  • Many riders do not signal while taking a turn and do not watch for the coming traffic.

Role of Government to Improve Cycle Safety

To improve safety for cycle riders, the government can also take the following initiatives:

  • Reduce other vehicle travel speed to ensure safety of cyclists at certain vulnerable locations
  • Construct cycle lanes to segregated cyclists with intersections
  • Install bicycle signals at intersections
  • Construct raised bicycle crossings
  • Construct overpasses and underpasses especially meant for cyclists
  • Maintain proper street lighting to ensure safety
  • Introduce bicycle helmet legislation or amend the existing motor vehicle laws to ensure safety of bicycle riders
  • Enforce cycle riders to install bicycle lights
  • Mandate truck enhanced-mirror systems such that they can spot bicycle riders at blind spots
  • Enforcement of helmet wearing by the bicycle riders
  • Introduce non-legislative strategies to increase helmet wearing
  • Conduct education, training and awareness programs for cyclists