Bicycle safety in traffic: some tips and tricks for safe winter cycling

As of next Monday evening, the Belgians will cycle back home in the dark, because we will all have turned our clocks back by one hour this weekend. So this is an ideal moment to pay some extra attention to the aspect of bicycle safety in traffic. Hereunder you can find some practical tips & trick for getting back home safely.

Bicycle safety in traffic, the classics:

Control well in advance whether your bicycle lights are functioning properly, at the front as well as at the back. If you are not convinced of the quality, then buy an extra set of removable flickering lights for extra visibility.

Getting noticed, that’s the message! Therefore, avoid wearing dark clothes as much as possible. The easiest solution is to wear reflecting clothes. Without wearing a fluorescent jacket, you only get seen by other road users from a distance of 20 meters, whereas reflecting outfits make you noticeable from a distance of 150 meters. Worth thinking this over, isn’t it?

A no-brainer is wearing a cycling helmet, of course. This is obligatory for those riding on a speedpedelec, but also for all other cyclists it is highly recommendable to wear such a helmet. They come in all sorts of colours, shapes and designs, some even with in-built lighting…

Use your common sense when in traffic:

The shortest route is not always the safest. And you don’t necessarily have to go for yet another speed record in the dark or in the rain, do you. Choose quality bicycle paths which are preferably well lit, avoid small dark roads or roads that are poorly maintained.

Not only choosing the right road, but also your behaviour on the road is important for your safety. Pay extra attention when taking part in traffic and anticipate other people’s behaviour. As bicycles are not equipped with lights indicating that you are about to turn, use your arms to show clearly what you are intended to do.

Finally, one of the hottest topics in traffic these days: making use of your mobile phone when cycling. The chance that this one Facebook post or Instagram story is more important than your safety is nil.

The finishing touch for bicycle safety:

For all those who want to hit the road well packed, there are bicycle bags and rucksacks that can help you make your trip a safer one. Ever heard of fluorescent stickers and flashy bag covers you can pull over your luggage?

You can avoid cold fingers and wet feet by wearing warm gloves and foot covers. And why not buy them in their fluorescent version? Two birds with one stone: warmth and visibility.

Front and rear reflectors are obligatory, but did you know that you can also use wheel spoke reflectors. In daytime they can hardly be noticed but at night they add glamour to your bicycle excursion. Cheep, efficient and original!

 

These tips & tricks should help you going on the road more safely.

Not satisfied yet? You can learn more about bicycle safety in traffic from Vlaamse stichting verkeerskunde lees je nog meer omtrent fietsveiligheid in het verkeer. Or click here for more blog posts.

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