If you are in an area where it’s normal to go out on your bicycle, something you may wish you had is better infrastructure. Some people argue that better infrastructure is costly without a payoff that is worth the cost, but others argue that better infrastructure keeps cyclists, pedestrians and drivers safer.
Some of the cheaper ways to improve infrastructure start with simple options like adding advanced stop lines near intersections and making sure that cycling lanes are present and well-marked. Other options, like putting up more speed limit signs, may also make a difference in slowing down traffic to make it safer for cyclists.
Those simple changes may not be enough, though. Improvements in infrastructure may reduce the likelihood of a crash, but only in cases where that infrastructure actually causes changes on the road. A physical barrier between a bike lane and other lanes of traffic will always be safer than a painted line, for example.
What else can be done until the local area’s infrastructure is improved?
Since infrastructure changes may not make a difference right away, there are other steps that need to be taken. One is to improve the education that cyclists and drivers receive. For example, a driver should receive additional training on how to drive around a cyclist. Cyclists should also receive training on where to ride their bikes and how to do so safely when sharing the road with other drivers.
It’s beneficial for everyone who will be on or around the roads to have at least a basic education. The UK Faculty of Public Health suggests that children and residents should get further cycling education. Cycling should also be promoted so that it becomes more common to see cyclists.
If you’re hit by a car, you have rights as a cyclist
If you are struck by a car when you’re using the road, you should know that you have the right to make a claim against the driver. As a cyclist, it’s not only your responsibility to stay safe. Drivers have a responsibility to avoid running into you and to give you enough space to avoid an accident.