An average of 18% cyclists continue their hobby even after the end of summer, according to information from Latvian Cyclists Union. Some people are impressed by this, others are surprised. What is important to keep in mind for cyclists is that autumn forces people to be more careful on the road.
«There is no such thing as a cycling season – people use bicycles to travel all year round everywhere: be it the polar ice cap or Africa. The weather changes and so does your equipment. You just need to know which piece of equipment you need for each situations. Sometimes you can’t rely on anything except your own intuition,» – says President of Latvian Cyclists Union Viesturs Silenieks.
CEO of Latvian Insurers Association Janis Abasins adds: «There is no question that cyclists and pedestrians are the least protected group of traffic participants. More often than not, these people suffer because of driver’s carelessness. Statistics show one out of three traffic accidents involving cyclists is caused by cyclists themselves.»
Here are some pieces of advice for cyclists to better protect themselves during autumn:
No one causes traffic accidents intentionally. But they could happen if you are invisible. This is why it is important for cyclists to use headlights and rear lights when travelling somewhere at night. It is also a good idea to wear clothes with light-reflecting elements.
If there is no bicycle road, it is safer to drive on the road:
Drivers are more likely to spot cyclists who drive on the road with them. Sometimes it is hard for people to spot others driving on the side-walk, especially at night. According to statistical information, the majority of accidents involving cyclists usually take place on intersections.
Pick a safe distance between you bicycle and the edge of the road:
Accidents that occur when cyclists do not maintain safe distance are on the second place. In order to avoid this, cyclists should maintain safe distance away from the edge of the road. Experience shows – the closer a cyclist is to the edge of the road, the closer passing cars come to him. Distance between cyclists and car drivers helps make passing safer and less stressful for both parties. This also helps in situations when the road is slippery.
Maintain safe speed:
Another argument against driving on the side-walk is accidents that occur when drivers pass intersections and fail to notice speeding cyclists. If you still prefer to drive on the side-walk, be sure to maintain a speed that would allow you to stop in time and avoid an accident.
Carefully consider risks:
Everyone makes mistakes, regardless of how careful people think they are. You should always assess risks before going anywhere. Consider getting insurance, so that you won’t have to pay from your own wallet for any injuries or damage an accident may cause.