Safety Tips for Cyclists
In South Africa there are unfortunately very few roads that cater for cyclists and assist motorists and cyclists to have a safe distance between them when travelling. Motorists are also generally only looking out for other cars or trucks and often do not see or recognise cyclists or even motorcyclists on the road. This sadly causes more road accidents and leaves more people in need of emergency medical care.
All road users need to be vigilant at all times and make sure that are constantly aware of their surroundings. In the same breath all road users need to obey the rules of the road which will go a long way in preventing unnecessary accidents, injury and deaths on our roads.
Cyclists are not as protected from accidents as individuals in vehicles and are therefore often prone to more severe injuries after an accident and will often need immediate emergency medical care.
One of the most important protective pieces of clothing you need to wear at all times if you are a cyclist is a good quality cycling helmet.
When travelling at night or even during the day cyclists should wear reflective jackets to ensure they are clearly visible to other road users. Reflectors and lights on bicycles are essential for night time or low visibility travel. Cyclists should also try to travel together for added safety, but must travel in single file to prevent any accidents. Weaving in and out of traffic is also a big no, as cars may decide to switch lanes at any time and not see them. When overtaking cars, cyclists must also be aware of the blind spot all motorists have when driving and do so with extreme caution.
Although there is often not much room to carry items when cycling, cyclist should always make a point of carrying some sort of medical identification with them at all times. In the unfortunate event of an accident, this information will prove extremely useful to the emergency response team and will give them all the information needed to give the individual the proper emergency medical care.