The key to safety while cycling is VISIBILITY. Not only your own of course this goes without saying, but you must be absolutely visible to other road users and indeed pedestrians. Many a cyclist has been knocked into the traffic by a pedestrian who either didnt see the cyclist (or wasnt looking, although there is no cure for that except maybe time and education).

There are two basic categories of hand signals: formal and informal.

Formal signals are usually known to and adopted by the road users in a community. They may vary from place to place slightly. They encompass the left and right turns and the stop. Usually these signals are all made with the left arm.

Left: arm outstretched horizontally with the index finger pointing.

Right:a raised hand with the elbow bent at a 90 degree angle (L shape)

Stop:arm extended down at at approximately a 45 degree angle and the palm of the hand facing backwards.

Althernative right turn is the same type of signal to the left turn but using the right arm.

One of the other safety points that we need to remember and personally I struggle to (especially when you hear a car coming up behind you) is YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE ON THE ROAD - YOU DONT HAVE TO RIDE ON THE EDGE OR PAST THE YELLOW LINE! Of course your own instinct will dictact how much you adhere to this but as a rule motorists can only be aware of how to deal with cyclists if we stand by our rules and influence their habits by ours. (sounds scary considering you are weighing up a feather weight with an elephant but often the sound of an approaching car is more ominous than reality and unless you are totally invisible or barely visible, the car may not be as close as it sounds......) I understand that only experience deals with this fear though!

Having lights at the front and the back of the bicycle is always a good thing, personally I would rather sparkle like a Christmas tree than not be seen!

I actually think that there should be road signs making motorists more aware of cyclists, the occasional sign is not acceptable.

Too many cyclists who get minor injuries from cars also walk away thinking - oh well what can be done. I think that is part of perpetuating the problem. Lets be seen and be heard!