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Bike Safety Rules and Responsibilities for Cyclists and Motorists

Spring is finally here, bringing longer days, warmer temperatures, carefree spirits, and many more cyclists on our streets, county roads, and highways. Whether those cyclists are children riding around the neighborhood, families out for a casual ride, or athletes putting the miles in for training, cyclists are out in full force. It is crucial to understand bike safety rules and remember that sharing the road is the responsibility of both motorists AND cyclists.

Share the Road Cycling Coalition offers tips for improved safety on their website. Here is a sample list of some cycling best practices:

Bike Safety Rules for Cyclists

1. Obey the law. Cyclists must follow the same laws and rules of the road as motorists.

2. Be predictable. Signal your turns; ride in a straight line; always do shoulder checks before turning or changing lanes.

3. Always come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights.

4. Be cautious when riding around parked cars, to avoid dooring incidents or cars pulling out. Put yourself in a position of visibility so that any driver in a parked car can see you before opening the door or moving the vehicle.

5. Be visible. Ride where you can be seen; use lights and reflectors; wear bright coloured clothing.

6. Be aware. Watch other drivers, pedestrians or cyclists and try to anticipate the next move. Use eye contact and hand signals. Watch for debris, potholes, grates and train tracks.

7. Carry identification, a cell phone, emergency cash, and emergency supplies with you at all times.

8. Wear a helmet.

There are also ways that motorists can improve bicycle safety:

Bike Safety Rules for Motorists

1. Respect bicyclists. They are legally allowed to use the road and have the same rights and

responsibilities as motorists.

2. Slow down and obey the posted speed limit.

3. Always come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights.

4. Maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the bicycle in front of you.

5. Allow a minimum of 3 feet of clearance when passing a bicycle, and a minimum of 5 feet if travelling over 50 km/h (it’s the law!)

6. Signal all turns and lane changes at least 30 metres (100 feet) in advance.

7. If you plan to turn right or pull into a parking space, always check over your right shoulder for cyclists travelling in the same direction as you. Do not cut them off and allow them to pass before executing your turn or before you start to park.

8. Exercise patience and use eye contact with cyclists or pedestrians.

Remember, we are all traffic, whether we are pedestrians, cyclists, or motorists. Please share the road and have a safe and enjoyable summer.

Advocating for Your Legal Rights 

This article was written by a member of the Personal Injury Team at McKenzie Lake. If you require assistance with a personal injury matter or wish to speak to a personal injury lawyer at McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP, please call (519) 672-5666.