Understanding the Rules of the Road as a Cyclist in the UK

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bikerCycling in the UK can certainly be tough. Many of the roads are simply not designed for cyclists, and there is a shortage of cycle lanes in most major cities. With motorists often forgetting about the needs of people on bikes it can make for a very dangerous ride. But there are so many advantages to cycling, and it is also a great hobby.

With this in mind it is worth understanding the rules of the road for cyclists. Cycling road safety is of paramount importance, and following the rules of the road could help keep you safe and sound.

What to do at night

When cycling at night you should always have your white front lights and red rear lights lit. Your bike should also be fitted with red rear reflector. Pedal reflectors are also essential. But try and use a steady front lamp instead of flashing lights when riding in areas without street lighting as this can be off-putting to drivers.

Don't forget to wear fluorescent clothing to help drivers see you at night. Reflective clothing is a good idea. You can add reflective belts or strips to your arms and legs to help highlight your presence.

Where can you cycle

It all depends on where you are. If there is a designated cycle path then a cyclist should always aim to ride on the cycle path. Sometimes cycle paths and pedestrian paths are shared, or split. Make sure you exercise common sense when cycling to avoid a cycling accidents. Always give plenty of room to pedestrians when passing and it is also wise to assume that pedestrians may not have seen you; ring a bell every once in a while!

Under UK law a cyclist must not cycle on a pavement, and therefore, if there is no designated cycle lane, you must ride on the road.

Thing you should always aim to do:

  • Keep both feet on your pedals
  • Don't cycle too close to other vehicles, or other cyclists
  • Be wary of pedestrians and animals
  • Ring your bell if you are unsure as to whether people have noticed you
  • Take extreme care when overtaking, near humps in the road or where the road narrows
  • It is vital that you wear protective clothing when cycling. A well-fitted cycle helmet is essential, and should conform to the current cycling regulations. Make sure that you and your bike are well acquainted. If your feet can't touch the floor when you lean over your handlebars then the saddle of your bike is too high.
  • If in doubt about any cycling safety then it is a good idea to take a cycling proficiency course, or to have a re-read of the Highway Code to familiarise yourself with all the do's and don'ts.
  • If all cyclists, motorists and pedestrians adhered to better road safety and cycling road safety then less cycling and road traffic accidents would occur.

Know your right of way, but also don't forget to use common sense. And please make sure you wear a helmet-it could save your life.

Sarah Mcarthy is a writer for Carry on Cycling. You can find her on Google Plus here. Carry on Cycling can help you with your claim, get in touch today. Here is more advice and information on cycling safety.

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