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Why Christmas shoppers pose an extra threat to cyclists

Many people store their bicycles for the winter. Yet, you can still enjoy the same benefits using them now, as you can at the height of summer.

While traveling by bike may be chillier, it is still cheaper, healthier, more fun and often quicker than using a car. It can also be more dangerous. Whether you ride your bike for exercise, relaxation or out of practicality, it pays to be particularly cautious during the holiday season.

Christmas is stressful for drivers

If you are on your bike in the next few weeks, it pays to take extra care because it contains several of the busiest shopping days of the whole year, meaning some drivers will be less careful than usual. Here are some of the reasons:

  1. Parking spaces can be hard to come by: Drivers may wait in the road and block the lane when they think another vehicle is about to vacate a space.  You then need to pull out around them. They may also move into the space fast to ensure another driver does not beat them to it. They may be so focused on securing it that they forget to check their mirrors.
  2. Children will distract their parents: Parents may not have anyone to leave the kids with while they are off school, so they need to take them everywhere, including to the shops. Many kids hate shopping, especially when it is crowded, and may spend the whole journey whining, causing their parents to struggle to stay calm and focus on the road.
  3. Lines to get inside parking lots (and out) get longer: Drivers get agitated when stuck in queues, and the long wait to pay for items in the store can increase their frustration.

People are more likely to drink and drive: Businesses break out some wine to celebrate the end of the year, and relatives and friends break open the drinks cabinet when anyone visits. Many drivers who would usually refrain from drinking and driving relax their rules because it is Christmas.

If a driver knocks you from your bike, you will face significant medical bills. Holding them responsible will be crucial to ensure that their mistakes do not leave you out of pocket.

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