Top Tips for Staying Injury Free While Cycling
- AuthorIan Rees
With significant changes to the Highway Code in 2022, cyclists should now be safer than ever as they have greater rights when travelling on the roads, with motorists encouraged to give way to cyclists, and ensure they are treated more safely and equivalent to other vehicles.
Despite this, these new laws could still cause greater confusion for drivers which in turn could increase risks for cyclists.
As one of the jersey sponsors of the CARTEN100, taking place on 20 May, which will see cyclists pedalling 100 miles from Cardiff to Tenby, Director Ian Rees from our Personal Injury team offers some expert advice on keeping you safe while on your bike.
Before jumping on your bike for any length of journey, it’s essential that it is well-maintained.
Ensure that your bike is in good working order, check your tyres and chain, along with your lights and reflectors if you plan to cycle in poor lighting.
It’s also vital to ensure your clothing is bright and reflective if you are planning to cycle early in the morning or in the evening when visibility is limited.
A well-fitting helmet is one of the most important items of clothing for any cyclist. Data from the NHS England Trauma Audit and Research Network Studies has shown that helmet use results in a significant reduction in severe traumatic brain injury.
Studies have found that 47.6% of patients who were not wearing a helmet sustained a severe traumatic brain injury, compared to 19.1% of patients who were wearing a helmet.
At JCP we specialise in helping those who have suffered from head and brain injuries, and we know that serious catastrophic injuries can be caused by cycling accidents, especially when helmets are not worn.
We’d always urge you to be aware of a vehicle’s blind spot, whether this is a car or a lorry, as this can have devastating consequences. It’s always advisable not to undertake lorries on the vehicle’s left-hand side, as it increases the risk of serious injury if the driver doesn’t have full visibility.
If they veer toward the gutter, or if they turn left, you will have nowhere to go, and we’d encourage you to be aware of this.
Similarly, be aware of the hazards posed by passing cars and car doors being opened. Give yourself plenty of room for manoeuvre and try to make eye contact with the drivers around you so you know they have spotted you. Make your intentions clear by signalling and looking behind you and around you before you make a move.
Read the road
Being a cyclist on the road automatically means you could be more vulnerable to injury or risk, so it’s vital that you read the road.
Get into the habit of thinking like a driver and pre-empting potential risks ahead to help improve your reaction time and prevent serious injury.
As well as cars, junctions and pedestrians, look ahead for drain covers, potholes, gulleys and gutters, speed bumps, debris in the road, parked cars and other cyclists.
Safety doesn’t happen by accident.
As one of the sponsors of the CARTEN100 bike ride, JCP Solicitors and the team are looking forward to taking on the challenge.
JCP Solicitors Personal Injury team can assist clients with injuries that were not their fault in a range of circumstances. These include accidents at work, road traffic accidents, slips and falls and medical negligence.
For more information on JCP Solicitors’ Injury Services visit call 03333 209 244.