After a recent post on the unnecessary risks people take in everyday life, I have been noticing how many risks cyclists take.
I am a regular cyclist myself, and know how vulnerable cyclists are. But many cyclists seem completely oblivious, not only to how easily they could be seriously hurt, but also to how much damage they could do to pedestrians, children or pets, who may not be aware of their approach.
Here are a few typical examples of behaviours that I see all too often. Leave a comment if you agree or know of others!
- Ignoring red lights. I have already had a good moan about this one (see Cyclists – Red Lights Apply to You Too!). The rules of the road are there to protect our safety and apply to everyone.
- Cycling the wrong way down one-way streets. Cyclists – you cannot blame motorists or pedestrians for pulling/stepping out in front of you – they will not be expecting you to be coming!
- Cycling without lights at night. It may be well-lit in a city centre, but drivers easily get dazzled by other headlights, especially when the roads are wet. It is amazing how many cyclists not only don’t have lights, but are also wearing dark clothing. Sometimes drivers don’t see you until the very last minute.
- Cycling down pedestrian shopping streets. Even if it is actually a road and you are within your rights to cycle, surely common sense tells you that it is more sensible to get off and walk. Pedestrians can change course very suddenly or stumble, especially when you appear suddenly and make them jump! It just isn’t worth the risk of hurting yourself or someone else just to save a couple of minutes.
- Phoning or texting while cycling. For heaven’s sake……
- Cycling with a dog on a lead. So unfair on the dog….. And dangerous for both parties.
No doubt many of the cyclists carrying out these behaviours would be very quick to blame someone or something else if they had an accident. But we should all take responsibility for our own safety. And remember that other people have as much right to be there as we do.
(For a huge selection of lights and reflective clothing at great prices see Wiggle Online Cycling Shop).