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Safety warning for summertime cyclists

As the weather finally begins to warm up and days get longer, many more people will choose to dust off their bikes and begin cycling to work.

Unfortunately, we advise on far too many accidents involving cyclists who have been seriously injured in collisions on the roads. Our concerns are echoed by The Times, which reports that figures due to be published later this month are expected to show that the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured during 2011 increased for the third year in a row. More than 1,200 have died on British roads since 2001.

In many instances, injury could have been prevented or reduced by following simple safety procedures. Wearing helmets, high visibility and protective clothing make a real difference, as does ensuring that a bike is well maintained.

Of equal importance is to take care on the roads themselves, particularly if you are an infrequent cyclist – don’t take unnecessary risks such as weaving between cars and running red lights. Cyclists must pay attention to other road users, particularly to cars emerging from side roads or larger vehicles attempting to overtake and turn left.

Cyclists should ensure they can be seen in a mirror and where possible try to make eye contact with the driver. Try and use cycle lanes where possible, taking particular care when re-joining a regular carriageway.