Cycling is an excellent way to keep in shape and reduce your carbon footprint. But at times it can be a little dangerous, especially when you’re sharing the road with cars and pedestrians. To ensure you’re doing everything possible to be a safe cyclist, here are just a few things you should always remember when riding.
Watch for Pedestrians
Pedestrians can be just as dangerous to cyclists as a car. Sometimes even more dangerous when they’re distracted or step out without looking. To avoid hitting a walker or dangerously entering traffic to avoid one, it’s important to always be on guard when you’re crossing the road, near sidewalks, and moving into the crosswalk. And remember to treat your bike like you would a car and check your blind spots.
Obey Traffic Signals
Cyclists have to follow the same traffic rules as cars in Ontario or they can face fines. That means that every cyclist is required by law to give pedestrians the right of away, stop at red lights and stop signs, and travel in the same direction as the flow of traffic. Even though it can slow you down to stop at every light and sign, it’s a good idea to follow these regulations for your own safety and that of others.
Signal When Turning
Bikes don’t have turn signals. It’s up to you to use hand signals and let other traffic know what you plan to do. Otherwise, a car could assume you’re going straight and hit you when you turn left.
Equip Yourself with the Right Gear
Ensure the safety of everyone on the road by wearing a helmet and high visibility clothing, and by adding lights and reflectors to your bike. By law, you also need a front light and red rear reflector when riding at night in Ottawa. Commuters should also consider adding a bike bell that can alert others that you are coming past or if they’re blocking a lane. If you ride throughout the city, a helmet mirror can help you see around you without you having to look over your shoulder.
Never Listen to Headphones
When riding you should always be able to hear the traffic and crosswalk signals around you. Wearing headphones is dangerous. It can easily distract you from hearing all the other sounds that are going on around you, like emergency sirens, warning honks, and backup beepers.
If you’ve been injured, give us a call at Zuber and Brioux. We are an Ottawa accident lawyer and can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.