Leaving the car at home and biking wherever you need to go isn’t only a healthier option for you, but also for the environment. However, biking on public roads is very risky if you don’t follow the laws set in place to protect you. Hit and run accidents can happen in an instant, and result in many cyclist fatalities in Canada. The rules and guidelines listed below will help ensure that you’re being as safe as possible when cycling to avoid such injuries.
Rules & Safety Tips
You don’t need a license or insurance to get on a bicycle and go wherever you’d like. However, there are laws set in place to keep cyclists as safe as possible while sharing the road with motor vehicles. There are also many steps cyclists can take to try and avoid dangerous situations.
Protective & Reflective Gear
Bill 31 includes a section that outlines specific things that cyclists must do in order to comply with the law. Every bike needs to have proper lights, reflective materials and reflectors. Motorist may not notice cyclists unless they are properly marked, especially at night, which can easily lead to a hit and run accident. There are fines set in place for those who don’t follow this law.
By law, adults don’t need to wear a helmet while riding a bike on a public road way (anyone under 18 is required to wear a helmet) but it is highly recommended for obvious reasons.
Rules of the Road
Cyclists still need to adhere to the rules of the road. You are responsible for stopping at red lights, signalling when turning, staying in the proper lane and any other rules outlines in the highway traffic act.
The Right Bike
One size fits all doesn’t apply to bikes. An easy safety tip to make sure you are in full control of your bicycle is to get one that fits you. Bike size, frame height, handle bars and more factors all determine whether a bike is right for you. Check out this breakdown to see how you can figure out which bike you should get.
What to do After a Hit and Run Accident
Even if you take all of the safety precautions possible you can still be injured because of someone else’s negligence. If you’re involved in a hit and run accident and are not at fault, you need to know what to do after the accident in order to protect yourself.
If you are injured in a hit and run accident, call 911 (if you’re able to) as soon as possible. Collect as much evidence as possible such as the make/model of the car and see if there were any witnesses. After all of this has been reported to the police, you have the option to make a personal injury claim. A personal injury lawyer will be able to guide you through the entire process and make sure you receive your rightful compensation.
Biking is a great way to get to where you need to go while reducing your carbon footprint. But it does come with risks. Listed above are only some of the laws and safety tips that you need to be aware of to make your bike rides as safe as possible. If you’re still unsure about the responsibilities cyclists have on the road, look into taking a bicycle safety courses.