How to Stay Safe on Your Bike
It's time to dust off your trusty bicycle, grab a helmet and hit the streets. But make sure to keep safety in mind while riding on two wheels.
Summer and cycling just naturally go together. After a long spring spent isolating indoors, cyclists of all ages and abilities are ready to hit the road. But, as with any mode of transportation, it’s important to keep safety in mind when you’re on two wheels.
According to Statistics Canada, each year approximately 7500 people are seriously injured on bikes, with the majority of accidents happening in the afternoon and rush hour.
Avoiding the peak accident periods, when traffic may be heaviest, and ensuring that you have the right equipment, can help keep you safe on the road.
Protecting your head while biking is extremely important, and wearing a bike helmet is the best way to do it. When you put on your helmet, make sure the visor sits about 2.5 to 5 above your brow, and that the chin strap is snug (but not constricting).
If you can fit no more than two fingers between your chin and the strap, you’re good to go.
Did you know that one out of every three cyclist deaths occur at night, or where there’s artificial lighting? Furthermore, 34% of cyclists who were killed were struck by a vehicle in the dark.
Visibility is important on the road, especially when drivers and bikers are sharing the same streets. During the day, you don’t have to worry too much about seeing and being seen, especially in the summer. However, as the day gets duskier, it’s more difficult for drivers to spot cyclists darting across or on the side of the street.
If you’re going to be biking during this time, there are tons of bike accessories that will help make you more visible, like clip-on lights and reflective tape. The most common (and perhaps easiest) method is to wear a reflective vest.
Share the Road
Share the road and don’t ride on sidewalks. Bike riding on congested sidewalks puts pedestrians in danger, and it’s actually illegal in some North American cities. Bike on the right side of the road (just like when you drive) and stay between a half-metre and a metre away from the curb.
Be careful when you’re driving past parked cars – you never know when someone could open a door. Remember to stop at stop signs and red lights, just like you are driving a car.
Listen up, Drivers!
After a long spring spent indoors, there’s nothing like getting out on two wheels to enjoy the fresh air. Best of all, your CAA Membership includes the CAA Bike Assist program! Just think of it as roadside assistance for your bicycle.
The program offers the same peace of mind that comes with its renowned Emergency Roadside Service.
Carry your CAA card for coverage 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!