Road accidents are on the rise and every day the country loses five to six valuable lives on the road. Who takes the blame? People point fingers at officials, but how fair is it? Every citizen should take responsibility. Upholding road laws by users make the experience on the road pleasant for all of us. On a previous week we enlightened you on some best practices, pedestrians need to follow. Today we are educating you on some rules and regulations cyclists need to follow. According to Sri Lankans, the cycle is the vehicle of the poor.However, now many youngsters use cycles to commute to school. Intentionally or unintentionally, sloppy cyclists cause many accidents on the road. The first step of safe cycling and in avoiding accidents is checking the bicycle, to see if it is in good condition. Ensure that it is mechanically good, the height of the seat and the handle suits your height, and the fixed revenue license is visible.
The number of accidents, related to cyclists, occurs during the dark hours can be more, when compared to daylight hours. Therefore, a white lamp infront and a red lamp or a reflector at the back is essential. Painting the mudguard in white is also important. When the light is dim, always activate these lights and wear light coloured clothes to make it easier for other vehicles to spot you.
The wisest action is using the dedicated cyclists' lane if present, as it is safer than on busy roads. However, in the absence of a lane, ride closer to the left edge. Riding in vertical lines, rather than going in pairs is secure for the riders. Some modern day youngsters do perilous stunts using bicycles. Unless they are professional stunt performers, this action would lead to many accidents.
Therefore, riding using both hands is the best, while not giving hand signals. Even when signalling, do that early allowing sufficient time for drivers to prepare. Never carry anything extra, which will disturb proper handling of the cycle. In some areas, especially in villages, people hold other cyclists and chat while riding. This practice is dangerous and should be avoided. Unlike other vehicles, bicycles have the benefit of taking less room on the road. Then cyclists are tempted to overtake other vehicles in a bad manner.
This could surprise other drivers, and could lead to accidents. When it comes to mishaps related to cyclists, always it is not the fault of the rider.
Therefore, it is better to be cautious than be regretful. While passing parked vehicles, see if a careless passenger has opened a door, or may be another motorists might hastily overtake the parked vehicle and you. Be careful about your surroundings.
Another fatal moment in motor traffic is when a vehicle enters a main road, since this is an unexpected movement for drivers on the main road, it is better to stop and watch the traffic. When the highway is clear, entering is secure.
On a one-way road or at a roundabout avoid taking the opposite way. Sure, you notice vehicle come to your face, but these motorists do not anticipate you. Thus, the result will be an accident.
Arresting accidents is easy if we act cautiously on the road and follow road rules. Let us aid the country to minimise the number of lives lost unreasonably. In another episode, we will elaborate about road rules applying to motorists.