Have you ever had an accident or a near miss on your bicycle because of poor road maintenance? If you have, you’ll understand why you need to keep a good lookout for road damage whenever you are riding.
Maybe you’ve never had an accident because of an unsafe surface or a giant hole appearing right in front of you. Perhaps you thought that damage was only sustained by motor vehicles when they drove in unsafe conditions. Now that we’ve pointed it out, you’re going to notice a lack of road maintenance everywhere you ride!
When you’re travelling on two small wheels, small holes in the road can cause you big problems with staying upright. Loose surfaces are a particular problem too. A couple of bits of gravel will most likely go unnoticed by you but a pile that’s been dumped in the bike lane and forgotten will cause you a major problem if you don’t have a safe way to ride around it.
Road maintenance is an issue that is taken seriously by local government and in most cases you won’t come across anything major that impedes your progress. In the odd instances you do, you should take care to avoid them at all costs. As mentioned, a small problem can become a large problem for a cyclist.
If you come across a lack of road maintenance you should definitely take the time to report it to your local authority. Take note of the location and maybe snap a quick picture if you are so inclined. It should be easy enough to call or email the details through. If you have experienced an accident in a particular area, you can bet that others will have a similar experience.
When you are riding you should keep a good lookout at the road ahead. Many new cyclists are so busy concentrating on road safety, other vehicles and feeling confident enough to ride near the traffic that they may not look far enough ahead to avoid an obstacle placed in their path. You should make this an early part of your riding habit so you can see possible problems before you find yourself riding through them.
Should the worst happen and you find yourself off your bicycle due to a rough surface, obstacles in the bike lane or potholes on the road, make sure you take down the details of the incident. If you have our bicycle accident assistant app this will be a lot easier for you (you can download it from the link so you are prepared ahead of time). Take photos of the road and what you believe caused your accident. You can refer to some things you should do if you’re in an accident and some ways to ruin your claim in some of our other posts.
Bicycle safety when riding on the roadway is very important and a lack of road maintenance can be a major cause of cycling accidents. By keeping a good lookout and reporting any roadways that require maintenance you’ll give yourself a much better chance of not coming off your bike in an accident.
That’s what we all want, right?