Cycling is great fun, and it is also a mode of transport as well as the perfect way to get some regular exercise. But while riding in cycle parks or on isolated mountain trails means you are unlikely to meet much traffic, riding on the road is a different story entirely.
Cyclists who tackle road riding will need to be aware of other road users. No matter how well you cycle and obey the rules of the road though, there may be someone else who is not doing the same. According to an article in the New York Times, an average of 17 pedestrians and two cyclists were killed every day in traffic accidents in 2018. So what are the biggest dangers of cycling on roads, and how can you prevent them?
Cycling on the roads in neighborhoods and overtaking parked vehicles comes with the risk of the driver or passenger opening the door without looking. The danger here is that the cyclist could be knocked to the ground. However, there is also a risk that the cyclist could be knocked into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
T-junctions can be extremely dangerous for cyclists, particularly when cyclists are passing the junction and motorists pull out or when a motorist fails to yield when crossing oncoming traffic.
Motorists often don’t have much patience for cyclists, especially if driving behind them on single-lane roads. Some will overtake the cyclist too close, causing an accident. There may also be a risk to cyclists traveling on multi-lane roads, where motorists do not check their mirrors or their blind spots when switching lanes.
How to Stay Safe When Cycling on Roads
When cycling on the road, you must be extra vigilant because you need to be able to spot dangers and react to them. You should also make sure that you wear the necessary protective gear, such as a helmet and high-visibility clothing.
The experts at Woom say that lightweight bikes should be fitted with both headlights and taillights and that these should be used during the day as well as at night. If you fit your bike with a flashing light, you will make yourself more visible, thereby reducing the risk of accidents when cycling on the road.
Before you head out on your bike, make sure that everything is in working order. It is important to ensure that your tires are pumped properly and that your reflector lights are working as they should. Check your brakes as well as the bike’s chain and the frame of the bike to ensure there is no damage or faults. Doing this could help to prevent an accident when you are out riding.
Avoid distractions when cycling on the road and make sure that you always keep two hands on the handlebars. Do not use headphones when cycling as this not only distracts you but could also prevent you from hearing a vehicle approaching from behind. Always make sure to ride your bike in the traffic and never cycle in the opposite direction.
There are a number of dangers facing cyclists when riding on the road. Overtaking parked cars can be risky. and there is also a risk when cars move from one lane to another. Cyclists need to also be aware of motorists when riding past T-junctions as this is where many accidents occur.
Staying safe when road cycling is especially important as it can help to reduce the risk of accidents. Cyclists should also be extra vigilant and aware of potential hazards.