Advice for adults

Cycling is a cheap, environmentally-friendly way to get about – and it keeps you fit.

But every year over 3,000 cyclists are killed or seriously injured in the UK. By taking sensible precautions such as planning routes to avoid busy roads and junctions will help to reduce the risks and make your journey more enjoyable.

Your bike

If you’re getting a new bike, go to a reputable bike shop, where they can advise on the best type of bike and make sure it’s the right size for you.

If you’ve already got a bike, get it checked to make sure it’s in a safe condition. It’s best to get your bike serviced regularly at a cycle shop.

Check your bike regularly yourself, especially before taking to the road. Our video and checklist will show you how to do this.

Here are four things to do regularly:

  • Check brakes and brake blocks or discs to ensure safe stopping in wet and dry weather
  • Clean and oil moving parts to keep the bike working smoothly
  • Tighten nuts and bolts to prevent any parts working loose
  • Make sure lights are working properly and that reflectors are clean. Replace any batteries that don’t give a bright light.

Helmets

RoSPA recommends wearing a cycle helmet that meets a recognised safety standard. This will reduce the risk of receiving major head or brain injuries in an accident.

Be seen, be safe

Wear bright clothing, preferably something fluorescent and reflective, to help other road users to see you more easily. Always use lights and reflectors in the dark and in poor visibility.

Training

If you’re new to cycling, or haven’t cycled in a while, it’s a good idea to get some cycle training. To find out what’s available in your area contact your local council’s Road Safety Team.

Plan Your Routes

Use cycle paths and quiet roads as much as possible; this will make your ride more enjoyable as well as safer. Your council may have a map of local cycle routes.

Care on the road

Take extra care at junctions and give timely, clear signals. Roundabouts are particularly dangerous for cyclists. Always obey traffic lights and signals.

Give lorries and larger vehicles plenty of space and avoid riding along the inside of them, especially near junctions – the driver may not be able to see you. Lorries turning left at a junction present a particular problem to cyclists, as they have a difficult job manoeuvring and have blind spots in their mirrors. Check out our lorries and cyclists factsheet for more information, read our sharing the road resource – and watch the video on this page too.

And finally – give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. If you’re running late, don’t be tempted to rush. Take time – it’s better to arrive late than not at all!


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