According to the Scottish Government Household Survey 2012 35% of all households in Scotland have and adult who owns a bicycle. With 2% of all people commuting to work doing so by bicycle there is substantial number of cyclists on the road network.
Many accidents happen to cyclists because car drivers cannot see them until it is too late to stop. This problem is worse at night and in poor weather conditions.
By wearing the right clothing you can increase your chances of being seen by drivers. Bright and fluorescent materials should be worn in the daytime and reflective materials at night. Fluorescent clothing enables drivers to see you in daytime or in poor weather much more easily than if you are wearing dark clothing. A number of different fluorescent clothing items and accessories are available to help you to be seen by drivers.
In order to be seen at night you will require reflective clothing. This reflects light straight back at drivers so that they can see you. Reflective material is available as self-adhesive strips, stickers etc. which can easily be attached to clothes and other items such as bags.
Wearing a helmet when cycling may help protect your head (if fitted properly) if you are involved in an accident.
Proper maintenance of your bike will ensure your bike is roadworthy and best equipped to protect you on the road.
- Brakes – adjusted so brakes can be applied with small amount of pressure
- Tyres – inflated to correct pressure
- Chain – tension checked, clean and oiled
- Steering – headset correctly adjusted
- Reflector(s) – clean and ensure they are on view to other road users
- Lights – At night your cycle must have white front and red rear lights lit. It must also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1/10/85). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp.