Road Safety Week is taking place this week, from 18th to 24th November, coordinated annually by road safety charity Brake.
It aims to inspire thousands of schools, organisations and communities to take action on road safety and promote life-saving messages during the week and beyond. Every 20 minutes, someone is killed or seriously injured on a British road, the charity says.
So how can cyclists stay safe on the roads, especially in the colder and darker months?
“At the top of the list is being seen,” says Becksy Mobbs, Cycle Surgery buyer. “I know that we don’t all want to look like a lemon in hi-viz clothing but it really does the trick when wanting to stand out against the greyness of winter.
“In this modern age, there is actually no need to be that dayglo person when there is a lot of choice in the stealth hi-viz sector. For example, Altura’s Thunderstorm range of jackets and coats which look casual to the eye for day use, then at night they suddenly reveal their hidden reflectivity when light hits them.
“The winter is a time to wrap our cold hands up in warm gloves and most manufacturers are incorporating reflectivity on these essential pieces of equipment. Altura has fully reflective ones, Sealskinz utilises stealth reflectivity and Loffi is offering gloves that have a reflective smile to greet other road users when you are signalling.”
Mobbs says an extremely important method of being seen is by the use of decent lights. Cyclists must have white front and red rear lights lit at night – and flashing lights are now permitted. Cycles must also be fitted with a red rear reflector, and amber pedal reflectors if they were manufactured after 1st October 1985.
“On grey days, I highly recommend using your lights all through the day to help you to be seen by other road users. Most bicycle lights nowadays come with an ultrabright setting, which is perfect for being seen during the day (although don’t use this at night otherwise you will blind everyone!).
Cycle Surgery also holds talks on how to ride safely and being winter-ready with speakers from organisations such as the London Road Safety Council and Cycle Confident.