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Bike Alert! Keeping Summer Cyclists Safe

Share the Road
Photo: iStock

This sobering statistic came across my desk the other day: about 100 cyclists per month are injured in Vancouver between May and October. Sadly, that number is just a drop in the bucket - according to the CAA, around 7,500 cyclists are seriously injured in Canada every year.

Since many of my friends and family are avid cyclists, a quick refresher on preventing car/bicycle accidents seemed in order! Here are some tips from a previous post on enhancing cycling safety for both cyclists and drivers:

Must-have list for safer driving:

  • Slow down when passing a cyclist and allow one metre clearance
  • Always shoulder check when changing lanes
  • Watch for bikes before exiting your vehicle
  • Always yield to cyclists when you are making a turn

Make sure you cycle safe with these tips:

  • Obey all traffic laws, signs and signals
  • Avoid hazards – stay about one metre from the curb or parked cars
  • Wear a properly sized helmet
  • Make sure your bike is in proper working order — check horn, brakes and reflectors

Most of the near misses I see out on the road seem to happen because either the driver or the cyclist has made assumptions - that there's no one beside them or that they've been seen. As the ICBC's director of road safety says in that Drive.ca article, "Never assume they've seen you." He encourages cyclists and drivers to make eye contact with each other when possible. Being aware and respectful of each other is the best way for both cyclists and drivers to keep the road safe for all.

Do you ride your bike in the city? If you have any biking safety tips, share them in the comments!

- Rose R.

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