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Share the Road Safety Reminders
It is that time of year again when the warmer weather brings many of us outdoors and onto our bikes. Whether you are an avid cyclist, someone who cycles for transportation, or someone who just likes to pedal around the neighbourhood, cycling traffic is on the increase this time of year so we all need to share a few road safety reminders.
Regardless of your reason for jumping on your bike, it is important to remember a few key safety tips.
Transport trucks and other very large vehicles have significant blind spots, particularly on the right side of the vehicle. If you are approaching an intersection, do not ride up beside the vehicle. Instead, stay safe and stay back behind the vehicle, so the driver can see you in his or her rearview mirror. If you are in the driver’s blind spot, you are invisible to the driver. A right-hand turn by the truck, if you are in the blind spot, can result in catastrophic consequences. Remember, stay safe, stay back. Check out the videos at staysafestayback.ca.
Reflectors and Lights
Not only must you avoid blind spots for large vehicles, but it is also imperative that you are visible to all traffic. The front of your bike should be equipped with a white light and white reflective tape; the rear of the bike should be equipped with a red light and red reflective tape. Also, consider your clothing choices. Black clothes on a sunset or early sunrise ride are not as visible as lighter or brighter colours.
Rules of the Road for Cyclists
This should go without saying, but please ensure you observe the rules of the road. They apply to cyclists as well as drivers. Failure to observe the rules of the road, such as stopping at stop signs, can result in traffic fines, and worse, injury and accidents.
As a cyclist, you should know and use hand signals to indicate your intentions and your direction of travel. Also remember eye contact with other travellers, whether other cyclists or drivers or pedestrians, is important to help avoid accidents. If you see them, but they are not looking at you, assume that they are not aware of your presence.
Rules of the Road for Motorists
If you are the driver of a vehicle, please remember the one-metre passing rule. It is the law. You must give a cyclist at least one metre in clearance as you pass him or her. If there is oncoming traffic that will impede your ability to give the one-metre minimum clearance, slow down, stay behind the cyclist, do not pass, and wait until it is clear.
Remember, whether cycling, walking, running or driving a vehicle, we are all traffic. Please share the road.
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.