Following a recent article about safe cycling, the Bulletin received a request for more details on the type of accidents that are reported. An analysis of the 38 accidents involving bicycles reported this year up to the end of August reveals that the most common single cause of accidents is slippery surfaces: ice, snow, water and gravel, so the message here is to take extra care, particularly when cycling in bad weather.
The second item on the list is obstacles of various kinds: collisions with kerbs, potholes and even the transition from roads to cycle paths. The lesson here is to pay close attention to the surface you’re cycling over, and if you do spot a pothole, even if it does not lead to an accident, report it so that it can be repaired. It’s also worth remembering that you’re more likely to avoid coming off your bike if you keep your hands on the handlebars.
The third highest cause is collisions with other vehicles, and here there are lessons for both cyclists and motorists. Cyclists, be visible, and take particular care on the St Genis roundabout and any busy junction. Motorists, be aware that bikes take up space on the road, so leave them room, do not cut them off, and remember that cycle paths are not for cars or motorbikes.
As a general rule, make sure you’re visible by using lights and reflectors, and wearing high-visibility clothing when you are out on your bike. Wear a helmet, and remember that you are subject to the same rules of the road as any other vehicle. Don’t forget there’s an online course in SIR on ‘Road traffic - bike riding’. It’s compulsory if you want to use a CERN bike, and freely available for anyone else.
For more information:
by Simon Baird (HSE Unit Head)