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How to Be a Safe Cyclist

If you drive on the streets of Ottawa or Kingston, you will without a doubt notice something: cyclists. Cycling has become a very popular method of transportation for many working adults as well as students and children. In major cities, you will see encouragement from the city to ride your bike to work instead of driving. This not only alleviates major traffic congestion in the downtown core, but it gets people out and exercising on a daily basis. It seems like a win for everyone!

The problems arise when cyclists are not practicing proper road safety and accidents start to happen. If there is a crash involving a car and a bicycle the chances of the cyclist escaping injury are very slim. It’s extremely important that every cyclist practices safe cycling and adheres to all rules of the road. Here are some tips on how to be a safe cyclist and avoid injury.

Use Proper Hand Signals

Unfortunately, since there are no motor vehicle license requirements to ride a bike, a lot of bike safety training is not given to cyclists. Knowing and using proper hand signals to signal which direction you intend on turning is an important safety tool each cyclist should use. When a car intends to change lanes or turn left or right other drivers are alerted to this with the use of car lights. Cyclists, with the absence of turning lights, must use clear and decisive hand signals and inform the cars around them of their turning intentions.

Stay in Your Lane

Most busy streets are equipped with bicycle lanes. It’s important for cyclist’s safety that they stay in their designated lanes until they need to turn out. Some lanes are even blocked off to cars with physical barriers providing a guaranteed safe passage for bicycles, but most simply have lines painted on the road to divide between car and bicycle lanes. These lanes are designed with cyclist’s safety in mind and should be utilized accordingly.

Always Wear a Helmet

This is something your mother told you when you were a child and still reigns true today. In the event of a crash, there is absolutely nothing to protect your body from injury when you are on a bicycle. Studies have proven that the presence of a helmet can save your life and prevent serious trauma to the head. It may not protect you from getting a broken arm, but it’s easier to recover from a broken arm than it is from brain damage.

Bike safety should be practiced by every single cyclist every time they begin a ride. Your safety is in your own hands.

If you are injured in a cycling accident as a result of someone else’s actions, you may be entitled to compensation. Book a consultation with Zuber Brioux to determine your legal options. We represent clients in cycling accidents, recreational accidents, and other personal injury cases in Ottawa, Kingston, and throughout Eastern Ontario.