Cycle Safety – The Openhouse Guide


Detailed cycling safety techniques, equipment and road use by Openhouse, supplier of […]


Detailed cycling safety techniques, equipment and road use by Openhouse, supplier of emergency equipment for Britain’s Cycle Response Units.

With the numbers of cycling injuries constantly on the rise and cycling deaths showing no sign of decrease, we at Openhouse have put together some tips for careful road use and looked for some of the most high tech equipment helping to increase cyclist safety.

Last year 113 people were killed and 21,174 people were injured whilst cycling on UK roads, and though according to statistics you are more likely to get an injury whilst gardening or playing tennis, these figures must be addressed and awareness of cyclist safety must be raised.

Understandably cyclists should not get the bad reputation from these figures, as cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians alike are at fault for these accidents, but cyclists need to be able to protect themselves from the dangers that can occur when cycling on the road.


Protect Yourself while on your bike

The first rule of every cycle safety piece you have ever heard will tell you to wear protective head gear, though Helmets have been in contention in recent years as the supposedly life saving equipment has been questioned by the likes of the NHS and Olympic Gold Medallist, Chris Boardman.

They worry that wearing a helmet could actually make drivers less considerate of cyclists, make cyclists take more risks than they would without a helmet and that helmets may not be effective in a serious accident or collision.

Here at Openhouse we think riding responsibly and wearing a helmet is the best precaution, we also found this incredible piece of equipment, which allows even the most vain person to keep their hair perfect whilst protecting their head and neck.

The Hovding Inflatable Bicycle Helmet wraps around your neck like a scarf, and upon a sudden impact or when you are about to flip upside down, the scarf inflates like an airbag surrounding your head and neck. At £249, the helmet is pricey, but it’s a gadget that looks really cool and protects your head and neck much better than a regular helmet might.


Be seen

In bad weather or especially in the dark, cyclists can be pretty hard to see. The smallest of distractions can make a driver miss you, so standing out and making sure your seen is important for your own safety.

Anything you can do to make yourself more visible will help keep you safe, though a single light whilst wearing dark clothing may still not be enough for drivers to see you from the sides or back/front.

There are plenty of stylish hi-vis jackets now on sale for affordable prices and good lights are also reasonably priced. Lighting up like a mobile Christmas tree can look cool and keep you alive.

The product that is wowing people on the market right now is a paint created by Volvo, that goes unnoticed in the day, but once it turns dark and a car light hits it the paint becomes a beacon of white light. Spray it on your helmet, jacket, bag or bike, and it’ll look like nothing has happened until nightfalls and you put a torch to it.


watch out for swinging car doors

Getting hit by swinging car doors, or dooring, is a real problem for cyclists, especially in London, where in 2007 cyclists swerving to avoid car doors accounted for 8% of cyclists who were killed or seriously injured.

Between 2010 and 2012, 3 people were killed in dooring accidents, and in the UK it is a criminal offence to open a car door so as to endanger others but this doesn’t stop it happening, and doesn’t stop people being killed by neglectful drivers or passengers.

To ensure you are keeping yourself safe from car doors, stay at least a metre from parked cars. This way if someone exiting a vehicle is stupid enough not to look and open their door, then you should be a safe distance from the door’s swing.

Lock your bike

376,000 bikes were stolen in the UK between April 2013 – March 2014, if you own a bike you need to store it in a safe place and lock it up with top of the line security. We also recommend that you get your bike chipped for tracking or registered with the police, this way you’ll have a much better chance of getting your bike back.

As for bike locks the best ones are all pretty similar, but the future of bike security is now here with the invention of Skylock. Honestly it is the swankiest lock you will have ever seen. It can unlock and lock just by being in your proximity, while you are away from your bike you’ll get alerts if the lock senses that your bike is being stolen and also if you’re riding, should you take a tumble, the app will ask you if you need emergency assistance and can call an ambulance straight away. They’ve thought of everything!

Openhouse are a supplier of panniers and bicycle equipment to the emergency service’s Cycle Response Units, if you would like to find out more about our products or how we could help you, then please get in touch with our expert team today!