18 Oct Cycling Safety Tips: How to Avoid Injuries on the Road
With most of summer behind us, you may notice that roads and crosswalks are busier as we all get back into our regular routines. Especially for cyclists, this may mean increased traffic on roads that do not have any designated bike lanes, or cycling traffic signals.
When there are no specific bike lanes, drivers and cyclists should remember that regular traffic rules apply. As a helpful reminder, below are the most common challenges that cyclists face, and the best ways to avoid them.
Common Traffic Incidents for Cyclists
Most accidents don’t occur from behind or in front of cyclists – it’s when a car is attempting to pass someone on a bike, according to the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). This includes drivers overtaking cyclists as they make right or left turns, or to merge back into the same lane.
CAA reminds us that cyclists require a metre of space when motor vehicles attempt to pass them on the road. While drivers should make sure they allow for proper space when passing, cyclists should be cautious as well, and slow down for drivers who may have miss gauged a merge.
Wearing a Helmet
Following safety tips do not always mean that you will avoid a collision. It’s important to make sure you are wearing the right protective gear in the event you are knocked off your bicycle while in motion. There are different types of protective gear you can wear, such as knee pads, elbow pads, and even gloves to improve grip strength – but it’s the helmet that is the most important.
According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, helmets are mandatory by law for those 18 years of age and under. However, they are not mandatory for adults. The site outlines the safety benefits of wearing helmets at any age, such as reducing the risks of brain injuries, concussions, and other severe outcomes.
Despite the best of intentions, cycling accidents do happen. It’s best to speak with a legal professional to determine what accident benefits you may be entitled to following a collision with a vehicle.
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