Ok, so a few people have been saying to me: “I’d love to start working for Deliveroo, but it’s just way too dangerous”, and it really got me thinking on the topic. I think that it’s fair to say that in the urban hierarchy of the streets, Deliveroo cyclists are probably on the same level as pigeons. No-one likes us, and I’m pretty sure that taxi drivers and motorcyclists go out of their way to knock us down. To them, we are just a nuisance who is needlessly blocking up their streets and causing an increase in road traffic. Not only that, but the countless videos online of Deliveroo cyclists jumping red lights or going on pavements really doesn’t give us a good name.
Deliveroo does provide (ehem..”sell”) some pretty decent safety gear (see my article here). The jacket is almost fully reflective and makes you shine bright like a diamond at night. The back of the backpack is also completely reflective which is great for cars coming up behind you. Deliveroo does also provide (for free this time) a bike helmet and lights. I’ve gotta say though the lights are the worst I’ve ever seen; they are basically just a couple of LEDs strapped to a bit of rubber, and they’re hard to see even if you look directly at them. If I were you, I’d buy a proper set of lights from Amazon because they really do have the biggest impact in making sure people see you. Helmets are also super important (even though people give you the “statistics say you’re safer without a helmet”), and the only Deliveroo provides is pretty basic but it does have a light in the back which is pretty neat. The final thing that Deliveroo do to keep you safe is a lovely little “ride safe” email every now again.
I think Deliveroo do as much as they can to keep their riders safe, but they can’t do anything about the actions of other drivers. Because Deliveroo riders spent so much time cycling, other drivers presume them to be an excellent cyclist and almost immune to crashes. This means they will drive a lot more aggressively around them, putting them in more danger than other cyclists. I’ve personally had many risky situations on the road, especially around London which is notorious for its awful cycle safety.
You shouldn’t be put off cycling for Deliveroo because of the safety issue. If you are a confident cyclist then you will have no problems, and it’s a good idea to do a few daytime sessions at first to get used to the job before you move to evening sessions. Another thing is to never look at your phone while cycling, it completely takes your concentration off the road and leaves you extremely vulnerable. This will become easier as you do the job more often and so don’t have to rely on the app navigation to get you everywhere. Anyways that’s my piece, and I hope you have a great time cycling for Deliveroo!!