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Cycling is healthier than driving – and reduces noise, pollution and congestion problems. Simple safety measures – wearing a helmet and using cycle lanes – can reduce the risk of injury in an accident.

General rules

CyclistSome basic safety features – brakes, bell and reflectors – are compulsory for all bicycles. Some EU countries have additional rules – on visibility, helmets, children's seats and the minimum age for cycling on public roads.

Vehicle design

Improving the design of cars and heavy vehicles can reduce the risk of injury to any cyclists or pedestrians that they hit. For instance, crash-friendly car fronts and blind spot mirrors on lorries could save up to 2 000 pedestrian and cyclist lives each year.

The APROSYSpdf project developed new test methods for vehicle fronts to assess their impact on pedestrians and cyclists. It also examined laminated materials that can fracture without losing their shape or falling apart. These would be especially useful for cycling helmets. The WATCH-OVER project promotes the development of new communication and video-sensing technologies – to help drivers detect cyclists and pedestrians in complex traffic.

Traffic management

Separating bikes from motorised traffic by using uninterrupted cycling lanes helps to reduce collisions between cars and bicycles. Traffic-calmed areas with a low speed limit (30 kph or 20 mph) can also reduce the risk and seriousness of accidents.