Road Safety Tips for Beginner Cyclists in Australia and New Zealand - dummies

Road Safety Tips for Beginner Cyclists in Australia and New Zealand

Part of Cycling For Dummies (Australia/New Zealand Edition) Cheat Sheet

Keeping safe on the roads is vital. You can be vulnerable on a bicycle, but here are a few tips to help keep you out of harm’s way:

  • Visibility is key: Wear bright clothes and make sure you stay in a position where other traffic can see you.

  • Get some company: If you’re new to riding on roads, get a friend with a bike to show you how — there’s always safety in numbers.

  • Car doors: When riding alongside parked cars, be wary of doors flying open in your path. Slow down and keep your eyes peeled.

  • Don’t hug the kerb: Don’t let other traffic think it’s safe to squeeze past you in the same lane — it’s not. Stay a metre from the kerb and you can be seen more easily from every direction.

  • Eye contact: You can’t be sure a driver knows you’re there until you make eye contact. Don’t be afraid to wave just to make sure you’ve been seen.

  • Hook turns: If you’re planning to turn right, but you’re not sure about the other traffic, make a hook turn (move to the left, stop in front of traffic waiting to go the way you wish to travel and go straight ahead when the lights change) to avoid crossing lanes.

  • The rules: The road rules for cyclists vary slightly around Australia and New Zealand. You’re much safer if you know what they are. Look online to find out what the rules are for you.

  • Stay safe: No matter what the rules are, if you think a junction isn’t safe for you, get off your bike and make your way round as a pedestrian.