LIFESTYLE – 10 Essential Safety Tips for Cycling in London

Cycling is a great way to get around London but you have to make sure that you stay safe on the roads. In this article we’ll discuss 10 ways to stay safe as a cyclist in London

London is a bustling city, but one aim is to try and reduce the number of vehicles that drive through the city. This is down to the level of pollution that cars generate and so, people are now looking at other ways of getting around.

One trusted mode of transport is the bike. People have been moving around London by bike for many years. This is a trend that is likely to increase as more people move away from using cars. So, if you are thinking of using a bike in London, it’s important to remain safe while on the road. 

This is particularly important if you ever need to make injury claims as a result of a collision for example, as they will scrutinise everyone’s involvement. If a person isn’t taking safety precautions, then this could impact the compensation received.  

Keep reading for 10 essential cycling safety tips… 

Why is Cycling in London Better Than Using a Car?

Cycling in London is a better option than using a car for several reasons. Firstly, it is a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Bicycles do not emit pollutants or greenhouse gases, which contributes to cleaner air in the city. 

Secondly, cycling is a sustainable form of transportation that does not rely on infinite resources such as oil. Thirdly, cycling is a cost-effective option as it does not require fuel or maintenance costs associated with a car. 

Additionally, cycling can save time in heavy traffic and parking is often easier to find and less expensive. It also helps to reduce traffic congestion on the roads, which leads to less stress for drivers and more efficient transportation for everyone. Moreover, cycling is a great way to stay active and improve physical and mental health, which is important for everyone.

Ten Safety Tips for Cycling in London

1.   Use London Cycle Paths

Cyclists should use safety paths in London for several reasons. Firstly, dedicated cycling paths often have physical separation from car traffic, such as barriers or distinct pavement, which can provide a safer environment for cyclists. This separation can also reduce the risk of collisions with cars, which is a major concern for cyclists in urban areas. 

Secondly, dedicated cycling paths often have lower traffic speeds and volumes, which can provide a more relaxed and enjoyable cycling experience. 

Thirdly, using dedicated cycling paths can help to reduce the risk of incidents with pedestrians, who may not always be aware of the presence of cyclists on shared paths. 

Additionally, safety paths often have better lighting and signage, which can improve visibility and navigation for cyclists, especially at night. Overall, using safety paths can help to make cycling a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone.

2.   Wear a Helmet

It is proven that a helmet could save your life if you find yourself in a crash while riding a bike. They are designed to protect the head when in a collision or fall. Without it, the risk of injury or death is significantly higher.

3.   Use Lights

It is important to use lights on a bike for safety reasons. Lights help to make the cyclist visible to other road users, especially in low-light conditions such as dawn, dusk, or at night. This can reduce the risk of collisions with cars and other vehicles. 

Additionally, lights can help the cyclist to see the road ahead, which can improve the cyclist’s ability to navigate and avoid hazards.

4.   Use the Right Signalling

Bikes don’t have indicators like vehicles do which means that other road users simply do not know when you might be making a turn. This can cause drivers to be unaware of when you are turning and that increases the risk of being involved in an accident.

With clear signalling, other road users will be able to know when you are making a turn, making you safer on the road.

5.   Wear Bright Clothing

Along with using lights, bright clothing can help to make you more visible. The more that you can be seen, the less chance there is of you being involved in an accident. Bright clothing with reflective strips can help in conditions where visibility is bad.

6.   Stop at Red Lights

As a cyclist, it can seem all too easy to weave through the traffic and jump red lights, but you should avoid this. As a cyclist, you use the road and with that comes a need to respect the same laws as drivers. If you don’t stop at red lights then you do increase the risk of being involved in an accident and if you are at fault then you might have injury claimsbrought against you.

7.   Be Aware of Pedestrians

Pedestrians can step onto roads at any time, and they might not see you coming. Therefore, you should make sure that you are aware of who is around you. Look ahead and see if you can spot any potential risks. If you collide with a pedestrian it could have significant consequences.

8.   Don’t Cycle on the Pavement

It can seem tempting to hop off and on the pavement when riding a bike. This is especially true if it helps you to save time and avoid the traffic. However, there is a risk with this as you could collide with pedestrians and confuse drivers. Stick to the road and you will find that cycling becomes easier.

9.   Keep Your Distance from HGVs

Large vehicles require more space on the road. This is especially true when negotiating turnings, roundabouts and traffic. While it might seem tempting to sneak through gaps, drivers of HGVs might not see you and that could cause you significant problems. 

You should be mindful of lorries that are turning left. This is because this is one of the biggest blind spots that a driver will have.

10. Watch Your Speed

You might find that you can reach high speeds but you still have to follow the rules of the road. Furthermore, by maintaining a safe speed, you’ll be able to stop in time. Additionally, potholes can become a risk and if you are speeding, you will be unable to avoid them.

Safety First

Safety is vital when riding a bike. While there is always a risk of an accident, if you follow these tips, you will do everything possible to reduce the risk and stay safe on the road.

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.