Cycling Safety Tips

May 23, 2024 | Cycle Safety, Pedestrian Safety, Road Safety

The weather is perfect to start exploring the many bike paths that the city has to offer. Cycling is a great way to get around – it’s cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and good for your health.

But cycling can also be dangerous, especially if you are careless with traffic rules. In fact, an average of 74 Canadians die in cycling collisions each year.

So, before you head out for a ride, remember these tips – they could save your life.

Cycling Safety Tips:

  • Always follow the rules of the road.
  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Stay about one metre from parked cars – this prevents you from getting doored.
  • Follow sharrows where available to help you share the lane – but remember, you have the right to take the lane if necessary.
  • Don’t weave between parked cars, it makes you unpredictable to drivers.
  • Be bright at night. Use a headlight, taillight, reflectors and light-coloured or retro-reflective clothing so motorists can see you.
  • Avoid riding in the blind spot of cars, trucks and busses.
  • Always pass a bus on the left.
  • Don’t ride on sidewalks and yield to pedestrians.
  • Stay out of crosswalks at intersections, this forces pedestrians into traffic.
  • Be especially careful where children might be walking – near schools, day cares and pathways.
  • Watch for pedestrians on roads that don’t have sidewalks. They should be walking on the shoulder facing on-coming traffic.

Motorists, you aren’t off the hook – of all the cycling collisions in Canada, 73% of those incidents involved a collision with a motor vehicle. Sharing the road with cyclists requires extra care and attention.

Cycling Safety Tips for Motorists:

  • Cyclists have the right to ride in any lane and motorists should treat cyclists as they would any other vehicle.
  • Watch when you open your car door – look, then open it slowly.
  • Park close to the curb to leave room in the next lane.
  • Share the lane – cyclists are not obliged to use bike lanes or pathways and can cycle on the road.
  • When passing a cyclist, leave a safe distance between you two.
  • Slow down to avoid splashing passing cyclists.