Bicycle Safety

 

In Ireland, cycling is a popular form of transportation. The continuously rising petrol and diesel prices are increasing the numbers of cyclists on our roads, which is great for our pockets and the environment.

The Irish government introduced the cycle to work scheme which has been in place since the 1st January 2009. This scheme was designed to reduce road traffic, reduce our carbon footprint and to help workers to keep healthy by cycling to and from their workplace everyday.

Bicycle lanes are very scarce outside of the major cities in Ireland which means that cyclists have to share the road with cars and other vehicles. This puts cyclists in great danger of being hit by a passing vehicle (no matter which party is at fault). Wexford Insurances has compiled a list of tips to help keep you safe when cycling.

You should always…

  • Follow the rules of the roadAlthough bicycles are not as large and powerful as a fuel powered vehicle, cyclists should always follow the rules of the road as if they were driving a car
  • Use hand signals – The use of hand signals will let other road users around you know what your next move will be. As you don’t have indicators or brake lights on a bicycle this allows motorists to prepare themselves for your movement preventing an accident
  • Maintain your bicycleAlways perform regular checks on your bike and keep it in top condition
  • Wear high visibility clothing – This is highly important especially during these dark winter mornings and evenings where visibility is poor
  • Wear your helmet – In the event that you are in an accident your helmet could save your head from sustaining any major damage
  • Have a front and rear light – Having flashing lights on the back and front of your bike is highly important when cycling in these dark mornings and evenings for extra visibility
  • Keep a safe distance – Cars have the ability to break suddenly and keeping a safe distance will prevent you from running into the back of the vehicle if they do so
  • Keep focused and cycle straight – Wobbling cyclists put themselves and other road users in danger so keeping a keen focus on your cycling could save your life
  • Have a spare tube and pump – Carrying spare tubes and a pump will save you a lot of time in the event of a blow-out or puncture

You should never…

  • Cycle against the flow of traffic – This is extremely dangerous and has can result in major injury or even death in the event of an accident
  • Cycle without lights – Cycling without lights is like a car without headlights and you should always remember you and your bicycle can easily blend into the background especially when other road users around you have their lights on
  • Hold onto a moving vehicle – You should never hold onto a car to get towed as it will nearly always end up with the cyclist being injured
  • Weave between traffic – Weaving between traffic when it is stopped is highly dangerous and should always be avoided
  • Run red lights – Although you feel like you are a pedestrian you should never break a red light. Always follow the rules of the road as if you were a car as not doing so puts pedestrians and yourself in danger
  • Cycle on a footpath – Always keep in a cycle lane or on the road where there are no cycle lanes available
  • Cycle in snowy or icy conditions – Your bike only has two wheels and will be highly unstable in these conditions

In wet weather you should…

  • Install puncture-resistant tyres – Large, thick tyres are a must in wet weather. Changing a tyre is intensely difficult in wet weather so preventing a puncture is a must
  • Lower your tyre pressure – This will cause extra friction between your tyres and the ground which increases your grip
  • Install fenders – This will prevent spray from your wheels tyres from soaking you or blinding others behind you
  • Wear warm, waterproof clothing – Your health should always be your top priority so keeping warm and dry is important
  • Pull over if the rain gets heavy – In heavy rain cyclists visibility becomes radically reduced which puts yourself and others in danger. If possible get under some shelter until the rain eases
  • Never brake harshlyYour stopping distance is notably increased and breaking harshly can cause you to skid and even fall from your bicycle

Your safety is our top priority.  With over 15 years experience Wexford Insurances can provide you with tailored packages that suit your needs, all at competitive prices. Contact us TODAY to discuss your insurance needs with your experienced, committed account handler on:

Tel:                 0818-31-30-30

Email:             info@wexfordinsurance.com

Website:        www.wexfordinsurance.com

Drop into us:  Wexford Insurances, 86 South Main Street, Wexford Town, Co. Wexford

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