Winter can bring very perilous conditions for cyclists, making the thought of cycling on our roads unwelcome! Darker mornings and evenings, ice and sleet, and strong winds and rain can all cause problems and increase the risks of a cycling accident.
But there are things that cyclists can do to improve their safety and make cycling in winter a less daunting prospect.
Using the correct lighting
If you plan to cycle on the roads in the dark then by law your bicycle should be equipped with lights. A white light is required on the front of the bike and a red light and reflector are required at the rear, with the pedals also requiring four reflectors – one front and back on each pedal.
These lights will not only illuminate your way on dark roads to avoid obstacles such as potholes, but also to ensure other road users can see you.
Wear appropriate clothing
The clothing you wear when cycling in winter is not just about keeping you warm and dry. It is important to wear reflective or fluorescent clothing. Again as with lighting, this will ensure you are visible both at night, as well as in bad weather conditions such as heavy rain.
Ensuring drivers can see you as soon as possible is vitally important to improve your safety on the roads. The sooner you are seen, the sooner they will take action to give you enough room when overtaking and to avoid a collision.
Checking the condition of your bike
Checking your bike over for wear and tear can make all the difference in winter. A bit of TLC before your journey can reduce the risk of an accident occurring as a result of brakes malfunctioning or chains becoming clogged with dirt from the road.
Check your tyres and brake pads to ensure they are working correctly and clean your drivetrain to avoid jamming.
Following these simple things can greatly reduce the risk of a cycling accident on our roads. Drivers should also be mindful of cyclists, and always ensure they give them enough room when overtaking and respect them as road users.
If you are unlucky enough to be involved in a cycling accident, speak to Freeclaim Solicitors about claiming compensation and getting the treatment you need for your injuries. Call today on 0800 612 7340 for a free, no obligation chat.