As a cyclist in Toronto the potential for injury seems to be increasing on a daily basis. In 2011 we had 2 cyclists killed on Toronto roads, 2012 saw 3 deaths, and in 2013 4 cyclists were killed. These stats don’t include any cyclist injuries either. Clearly there is a growing trend that needs to be addressed. What can be done for cyclist safety in 2015?
Share The Road is a cycling coalition in Toronto who has some great tips on improving road safely, sharing the road, and reducing cyclist injuries.
- Follow the rules – You have the same rights and duties as other vehicles on the road, and thus you have to follow the same traffic laws.
- Be Predictable – Use your hand signals, don’t swerve in-between vehicles, check blind spots, and always watch vehicles ahead of you.
- Stop! – Most cyclists don’t stop at stop signs or traffic lights, the law considers cyclists as vehicles that need to abide by the same rules as vehicles.
- Remain Aware – Anticipate the moves of drivers, vehicles, and pedestrians.
- Ride Ready – Just like any vehicle maintenance is important for safety, check your bike over thoroughly once a week.
- WEAR A HELMET
- Respect Cyclists – They are considered a vehicle using the road as much as you are, drive with tolerance.
- Obey Speed Limits – driving too fast reduces your ability to react, speed limits are imposed to provide safety not only for yourself but also pedestrians, cyclists, and everyone else.
- Stop – Come to a complete stop at stop signs and traffic lights. Also, remember that anticipating green lights is a chargeable offense and can be very dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Maintain Distance – Give motorcycles and bicyclists a safe distance. Not only does this remove pressure off the person you are following but also gives you time to react should an accident occur.
- Pass – If you are trying to pass a cyclist exercise patience, execute the pass only once it is safe to do so.
Wearing a helmet as a cyclist is vitally important. All too many fatalities and cyclist injuries are attributed to the lack of a helmet. Two thirds of cyclists killed were not wearing their helmet. The lack of a helmet is a major contributing factor in fatalities as most injuries are serious head injuries.
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