How to cycle on the road safely on your own or in a group

Being a legal team that specialises in cycling accidents we are more than aware of the danger that cyclists face every time they saddle up and hit the road.

Trying to stay safe on your ride can be a daunting thought even for the most seasoned of cyclists. To try and help you avoid any cycling accidents in the future we thought we’d share a few safety tips that could decrease your chances of a collision whether you’re cycling alone or as part of a group.

Riding alone

The main thing to worry about when you’re cycling alone is road traffic. In 2015 over 18,000 cyclists were injured in reported road traffic accidents. One issue a lone cyclist may have when mingling with other road users is the simple fact that a lone rider is harder for a driver to spot than a group of cyclists. This puts an onus on you as a cyclist to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

However, this can also cause issues. In order to be fully aware of your surroundings, a cyclist will occasionally have to take a look at what is happening behind them, this inevitably means the rider having to turn their head, which leads to their bike drifting, and if you’re not paying full attention, it can be easy to drift right into a car’s path which could lead to a bad case of whiplash, or worse.

Another key aspect for cyclists to consider when trying to stay safe when going it alone is your road positioning. You need to maintain a steady course and pace and avoid any erratic movements, this will give you a smoother ride and help drivers anticipate your movements better reducing the risk of an accident.

As we mentioned earlier, you are more difficult to see when you ride alone. There are easy ways to combat this. Firstly you can start by wearing a HighVis jacket, vest or strap. These aren’t just for cold wintry nights, the reflective coating will also help you stand out amongst the road traffic during the daytime too. If you are heading out a long ride and you run the risk of being out in the dark, don’t forget to fit some front and rear lights to your bike.

Riding in a group

Not only can riding in a group be a lot of fun, it can also help you stay safer on your ride, but it’s a skill that can take some getting used to. Not only do you have to work harder to maintain a constant speed, you also have to maintain a steady course while other riders are mere inches from you. Fail to do this and you could cause a collision that could result in multiple injuries for both you and your cycling partners.

Cycling with other riders can give you a motivational push, as well as an energy boost, especially when you’re slipstreaming behind the leader of the group. But don’t get carried away. Always remember you should never overtake another cyclist unless you have made them aware first, the last thing you want is to go for the overtake and then find yourself in no man’s land between a fellow cyclist and a bus. Always signal your intentions either by hand or by voice, that way you’re keeping yourself and your fellow riders safe, as well as earning brownie points for etiquette.

Whether you’ve been involved in a cycling accident when riding alone or whilst you’ve been riding as part of a group, and you believe the fault was not your own, please get in touch with us today on 01625 506 672 or fill in our enquiry form and a member of our team of experts in accidents involving cyclists will get in touch to talk you through your potential compensation claim.