Cycling is now a highly developed means of urban mobility that allows people to travel without polluting and to do sports at the same time. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, it is essential to have the right equipment to be able to pedal safely. Despite the fact that you are not driving on a motorized vehicle, you still need to know a minimum of the highway code since you are driving with other users on it.
In order to travel safely, several devices are required: helmets for children under 12 years of age (both passengers and drivers), a high visibility vest, lighting and signalling devices, and an audible warning signal.
- Helmets have been mandatory for children under 12 since 2017. Wearing a helmet helps to limit serious injuries to the face and head when the parent or child falls. About 80% of fatal bicycle accidents are related to head injuries, the helmet reduces the risk of serious injury to the face and head by about 70%. In addition, wearing a helmet significantly reduces the risk of unconsciousness when driving at speeds above 10 km/h. We go from 98% for a person who does not wear a helmet to 0.1% for a person who wears a helmet.
- Wearing a high visibility fluorescent yellow vest with reflective stripes is mandatory when driving at night, in bad weather and out of town. The fluorescent yellow fabric of this vest allows you to be clearly visible in daylight, while the reflective strips will be particularly visible at night, thanks to the headlamp lighting.
- To ride at night and during the day when visibility is insufficient, your bike must be equipped with a white or yellow reflector at the front, a red reflector at the rear, a reflective device on each of your pedals, and an orange reflector on each wheel. A poorly lit cyclist is not visible during bad weather or at night, which will affect his safety and that of other riders.
- Far from being a secondary accessory, the audible warning signal (bell) is one of the mandatory bicycle equipment. Your horn must consist of a stamp or bell and must be heard at least 50 metres away.
Non-compulsory recommended equipment
- Helmets are mandatory for children, but are strongly recommended for all cyclists, beginners or experts. As mentioned above, bicycle accidents are often head injuries, the helmet helps to reduce the mortality rate associated with these accidents. Today, you have the opportunity to find helmets for every type of activity you will do on your bike. The helmet models are also more varied.
- You can opt for a mirror to check what is happening from the rear (often a source of danger). In addition, it will prevent you from always turning around.
- The hazard spreader is known to be a deterrent since it will force motorists to respect a certain safety distance with you. It is recommended for children and beginners. In addition, at night it allows you to be seen since the handle is finished with a red reflector on the back side and white on the front side. It can be attached to the back of the bike or to your luggage rack.
- Having a basket or luggage rack can be useful, it will prevent you from hanging your bags on your handlebars. Hanging your bags in this way is a way to unbalance yourself when you are driving or standing still. The luggage rack allows you to carry heavier loads.
- Also remember to have a pump on your bike or in your bag, you never know that your tires are not inflated enough.
Remember that when you are a cyclist, you are also subject to traffic regulations. It is forbidden to drive on bus lanes or sidewalks (except for children under 8 years old). You are required to stop at traffic lights and stops. Failure to comply will not result in a loss of points, but you may be subject to fines.