The Mr does the majority of the driving in our family, I think he quite enjoys it to be honest. We’ve been rather lucky to have not been involved in any accidents, we have had a few near misses though, none of which were our fault. Unluckily for the Mr he has been involved in a few accidents on his other mode of transport, the bicycle. He often cycles in to work in the morning because it’s a lot quicker than sitting in traffic and also it helps him to keep fit.
Despite it’s efficiency there are a few drawbacks of cycling into work that he has discovered and that is other road users and even the odd pedestrian. He’s not stupid, he wears his protective gear and visible clothing but there have still been broken elbows and fingers, scrapes and bruises from taking falls caused by near misses but he had never been hit by another vehicle…..until recently. He was hit at a major junction but managed to walk away relatively unscathed and with all limbs still in tact, his bike on the other hand was not so lucky, it has suffered an ill fate. Even though the Mr was able to walk away from the scene he still had to take a trip to the hospital just to make sure. Receiving that phone call to say that he had been in an accident was daunting.
We are currently working on receiving compensation for the damage to the bike from the other parties insurance but it could have been a whole lot worse, we could have been looking at personal injury claims through a company like Leo Claims.
It really pays to make sure that you are safe on the roads so here are a few useful bits to help you cyclists stay safe on the roads this winter.
Make sure your bike is ready
Take it for a full service and inspection, make sure that it is in good condition. Check tire pressure and tread as well as your brakes.Remember to llok after your bikes, water and road salt in the winter months is really tough on your bikes. Remove dirt, salt and grit and give your bike a clean and make sure that the chain and gear is well oiled.
Make sure you are visible
Sla some lights on that bike, honestly the amount of people that I have seen (or barely seen) cycling without lights is silly. Lights on the front & flashing lights on the rear should do the trick.
This also includes your clothing, use your common sense and don’t wear dark colours. If you can wear something hi-vis, even if its a reflective strip. The Mr even attaches a flashing light to his backpack so that he is more visible to road users and pedestrians.
Make sure you are dressed for it
You might feel silly in the helmet but they are there for a reason. Clothing should also be appropriate, wear clothes that are suitable and will keep you warm and are not likely to get caught in the chain mechanism. Waterproof clothing like coats would also be beneficial to making your journey more comfortable.
Keep an eye out on your surroundings
Lookout for potholes, grids, drains and even tram lines. In the wet weather they can all be the causes of nasty accidents and lots of bruising.