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Bikes and motorbikes.

Cyclists and motorcyclists are more vulnerable than larger vehicles, and accidents can lead to more serious injuries. Protect yourself by being prepared...

Why do we focus on road safety?

London Fire Brigade attended 271 crashes involving motorbikes and bicycles in 2017

We believe that many of these incidents could have been prevented through road safety education. That's why providing advice to bikers and cyclists is so important to London Fire Brigade – and our firefighters.

What causes road accidents?

The main causes of serious injuries and deaths on the roads are:

  • Travelling too fast for conditions caused 5579 collisions in Great Britain 2016, and 102 fatalities. 
  • Exceeding the speed limit caused 5102 collisions in Great Britain 2016, and 229 fatalities. 
  • People using mobile phones caused 478 collisions in Great Britain 2016, 780 casualties, 35 fatalities
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol – there were 3883 convictions for drink driving incidents in Great Britain 2016, and it was a factor in 1.7% of all collisions.

    Data source: Department for Transport - Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2016

Bikers and cyclists are more vulnerable than people who drive cars, vans and lorries, so it makes sense to do all you can to think defensively and protect yourself wherever possible on the road.

Advice for motorcyclists

Motorcyclists are just 1% of total road traffic – but account for 19% of road user deaths

10 ways to reduce your risk

  1. Try to anticipate the actions of other motorists.
  2. Stay alert and observant, especially at junctions or roundabouts.
  3. Overtake safely, most motorcycle accidents occur at junctions, on bends or when overtaking – check for hazards and ride defensively assuming others haven’t spotted you.
  4. Be aware that many drivers have difficulty judging the speed of a bike and underestimate the bike's time of arrival.
  5. Ride at a speed that will enable you to slow down and stop in good time, and always ride according to the conditions – slow down if it's wet, foggy or icy.
  6. Position yourself in the best place, usually the middle of the lane. Take up your road position in good time before turning right or left, showing others what you aim to do.
  7. Take a 'lifesaver' glance over your shoulder before carrying out manoeuvres when you need to know where other drivers are and what they are doing.
  8. Be seen – always use dipped headlights, even in good daylight.
  9. If you are filtering past stationary or slow moving traffic, do it with care. The closely packed vehicles reduce your visibility, manoeuvrability and reaction time to a minimum. A lot of drivers will not know that you are there and may move across in front of you or open a door without warning.
  10. A motorcycle has less contact with the pavement than a car. Sand, wet leaves, or pebbles can cause your bike to slide or skid unexpectedly. Bumps and potholes that you might barely notice in a car can be a serious danger when on a bike. If you can’t avoid them, slow down as much as possible before you get to them.
Man on a motorcycle wearing black leather clothing

Join us on a free Biker Down! course

We run life-saving sessions in West Norwood, Dagenham and Heston.

Find out more and book your place.

Advice for cyclists

Cyclists make up 6% of all fatalities (110) on GB roads in 2016 – and in 2016, there were 3627 seriously injured.

Cycling is great for the environment, your wallet and your waistline, but when you get on your bike, you become one of the most vulnerable road users.

Common sense cycle safety…

  1. Always stop at red lights – if you ride through red traffic lights you can be fined, or worse still, involved in an accident.
  2. Stay central on narrow roads. Try to ride away from the gutter. If the road is too narrow for vehicles to pass you safely, it can be safer to ride towards the middle of the lane to prevent dangerous overtaking by other vehicles.
  3. Give parked cars a wide berth – always keep a door's width away in case the door opens suddenly.
  4. See and be seen – wear bright clothes during the day and reflective clothing and accessories at night. Always use lights after dark, white at the front and red at the rear.
  5. Don’t undertake when turning – lorries and other vehicles might not be able to see you clearly, and often have blind spots so ride in a position where they can see you and you can see them.
  6. Try to make eye contact with drivers so you're sure that they have seen you.
  7. Don't cycle on the pavement or against a one-way street (unless it is clearly marked for cyclists).
  8. Use appropriate hand signals to indicate that you're turning left or right.
  9. Wear a helmet for extra head protection.
  10. Cycle at an appropriate speed for your surroundings – remember pedestrians are as vulnerable to you as you are to a car.
Man riding on a bicycle past a fire engine

Boost your cycle skills for free

Did you know that TfL provides free cycle skills training sessions for both adults and families. Many councils also run free or subsidised sessions.

More info on TfL

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