West London Cycle Safety Guide

And how to claim for compensation if things go wrong

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Gone are the days where you could complain about the late bus, use train delays as an excuse for tardiness and just be generally grumpy about the state of public transport. With the popularity of cycling in the city growing year after year, and the council doing more and more to accommodate the avid cyclist, there really is no excuse for not hopping on that bike.

Granted, it can be a scary prospect for any cyclist to manoeuvre the busy traffic of Central London, but don’t be discouraged: the injury rates of accidents in London don’t come near the rising number of cyclists each year. When accidents do occur, cyclists may be able to make injury claims by remembering to note down a few key details.

Test the waters

If you are nervous about taking the plunge into cycling, there’s ways to ease yourself in. The Boris Bike scheme is in place, so that busy commuters can avoid the bustle of the tube and bus and choose the scenic option. Try it out and find out why cycling is for you.

If you want more information, contact your local council. Most London boroughs now provide free or cheap classes for adults and kids to get a handle of the Highway Code and your skills on the road. Alternatively, just ride with a friend and learn the ropes from them.

Road safety

Don’t take chances with the road. Always put your safety first and before cycling, get familiar with the rules of the road. Pay attention to the road and always make eye contact with other drivers, avoid riding near the pavement; it only encourages drivers to zoom past you. Remember to use hand signals and stay away from large vehicles, they may not see you, it’s safer to hang back.

Get your kit

Visibility is everything: wear bright colours in the day, reflective clothing at night. Make sure if you’ve got bike lights fixed, and, it should go without saying - always wear a helmet. It may all seem a little obvious, but these little things can count for everything if you get into a scrape. Keeping your bike in good shape will help, too.

Know your routes

West London is a busy place and several large junctions can be hotbeds for accidents, so planning your journeys can make all the difference. Get yourself a London Cycling guide , and get to know the residential routes. They’re more picturesque, as well as being a lot safer. With a new network of cycling routes running along the key Underground lines coming, getting around the city on your own is about to get a lot easier.

Act Accordingly

Sometimes accidents can’t be avoided. If you are in an accident that was not your fault and you’ve sustained injury or your bike is damaged, you may be entitles to compensation. Remember to try and note down the details of the driver and to get some details from witnesses. You don’t always need both but the more information you have, the better chance your claim will have..

Just remember, always ride safe.

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January 10, 2014