Lots of things happen around this time of year: first Halloween, then Bonfire Night and onto premature talk of Christmas, to name but a few. While a local Christmas light switch-on can just about be avoided, the darker nights cannot. Moving the clocks back may be good for walking the dog early in the morning but it is not so good if you also have to cycle or walk home from work in the evening.
Motorists and cyclists do not have to wage war but there has to be common sense on both sides. While accidents can be an unfortunate consequence of cars and bikes trying to share the same piece of road (or bicycles and pedestrians using the same paths), a high-visibility jacket and bright lights (plus spare batteries) are essential bits of kit that will make cyclists much more visible on the roads at the darkest times of year. Drivers should keep an eye out for cyclists and cyclists for walkers or runners – just like you, they are only trying to get home.
That’s why the theme of this year’s Road Safety Week, which runs from 17-23 November, is ‘Look Out for Each Other’. It aims to spread awareness among everyone who is out and about after has night fallen, increasing consideration for others and reducing selfish road use – and as a consequence, reducing accidents. You can find out more about the campaign here.
It is also worth remembering that even if riding home in the dark is not for you, there is still plenty of opportunity to get out on two wheels, even in winter. There are thousands of miles of dedicated cycle paths criss-crossing the UK, which means cyclists can go for miles without seeing any other traffic. Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity, does an incredible amount of work to keep the network of cycle paths maintained for everyone and the website lists numerous themed routes.
Wherever you find yourself cycling this autumn and winter – be safe, be seen – and look out for others.
If you have been injured while on your bike and you think that you might have a claim, contact us for a free initial consultation and advice. Contact our Cycling Accidents team by emailing [email protected] or telephone 0330 0539 411.