Saddle up for a safe summer

West Midland Ambulance Service offer tips to make cycling safer.

As part of its Road Safety Week, West Midlands Ambulance Service is urging all cyclists to take a number of simple steps to help them avoid getting into trouble when out and about on the region’s roads this summer.

With extended daylight hours there is plenty of chance to pop out on two wheels before work or enjoy a leisurely cycle once your day is complete, that is of course, if you haven’t taken the healthy option of riding to work. But whatever your reason for wanting to get out on your bike, there are a number of simple steps you can take to stay safe.

It is an individual choice whether you wear a helmet or not, but as an ambulance service we recommend you do because in our experience, it can help to reduce the risk of a head injury if you come off your bike. Always wear reflective clothing to make yourself visible, make sure you have lights on your bike – especially if riding at night, respect the road and its rules, position yourself well and keep your bike well maintained.

Nick Crombie, Medical Lead for Midlands Air Ambulance, said: “I can’t see any reason why someone wouldn’t want to wear a cycle helmet, it just makes perfect sense to me doing this job, but whether people do or not is entirely an individual decision.“ Children, however, are not as aware of traffic, they’re not aware of the rules of the road and the highway code as well as adults are, and they end up disproportionately having more cycling accidents than any other age group.

“Whether or not you choose to wear a helmet is up to you but please make your children wear a helmet until they are old enough to make their own decision.”