Yet, as Ontario’s 1.2 million daily cyclists (according to Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation) hit the road this summer, she says she’s still amazed at how many people don’t observe bike safety.
“Safety is my middle name. It’s the rule of the road if you want to ride,” says Angella, a CAA Plus® Member. “But I still see people out there without a helmet or cycling and chatting on their phones.”
Considering that poor road safety may have played a factor in one in three cycling fatalities, according to StatsCan, bike safety and awareness is critical.
So what are Angella’s top safety tips for cycling this summer?
Wear a helmet and fit it properly. Too obvious? You’d think so, but only 39 per cent of men and 46 per cent of women are likely to wear a helmet, says StatsCan. (CAA Members have no excuse: You get great deals on bike helmets and other safety gear instore and online.)
Be seen. Is that fluorescent pink bike jersey just too much? Maybe it’s not enough. “You have to wear bright colours, especially in low light conditions,” she says. Make sure you grab a CAA bike light, bell, bike bag and reflector tape, too.
Carry your cell phone and ID. If you need help, your cellphone will be a lifesaver – especially if you have the CAA Mobile App. All levels of Membership now carry Bike Assist. As a Plus Member, Angella gets a 200km radius for assistance. Our roadside crew will show up and either do minor repairs or transport your bike to safety. (Note: We can’t carry passengers in truck cabs as part of Covid protocols.)
Bring water for your ride. “We always say ‘stay hydrated’, but if you’re out on the road for a few hours, thirst is a real performance killer,” says Angella. (Looking for the perfect bike bottle? We carry great options! Click here.)
Ride with traffic, never against it. This is Bike Safety 101, yet people still do it – and cyclists are 3.6 times more likely to have an accident when driving against traffic. Where possible, stick to a bike lane: 40 per cent of Canadians would cycle more in dedicated bike lanes, according to a 2020 CAA poll.
Click here to learn more about CAA’s Bike Safety or here for information about CAA Bike Assist.