Bicycle traffic has increased significantly over the past few years. Thankfully, collisions involving bicycles have surprisingly decreased slightly in the Vancouver area. This decrease is likely attributed to Vancouver’s focus on bicycle safety and ensuring that bicyclists have reliable roadways and pathways to use.
Keeping the collision numbers down means that all bicyclists should continue to focus on safety every time they get on a bike. You can use the tips and tricks outlined here to increase your chances of staying safe while on a bicycle.
Know the Rules of the Road
The Motor Vehicle Act in British Columbia indicates that those who are on bicycles have the same rights and duties as drivers behind the wheel of other vehicles. Bicyclists often stay safer when they act and are treated like other vehicles on the road. That often means that you must travel within specified lanes and decline to engage in risky behaviour like weaving through traffic.
You must also stop at red lights and stop signs and ride in the same direction as other vehicles. The slowest-moving vehicles in British Columbia must travel on the side of the road that is closest to the curb. Be sure to ride at least one meter away from parked cars.
License cycling instructors teach courses like CANBIKE I and II to improve bicyclists knowledge, skills, and confidence on the road. It teaches riders the mechanics of their bike as well as provides information on traffic skills and cycling in general.
Have the Right Gear
All bicyclists are required to wear helmets in British Columbia. These helmets must meet specific guidelines that will decrease your chances of a traumatic brain injury after an accident. The helmet must be CSA, ANSI, ASTM, or SNELL approved, which should be specifically designated on the helmet itself or its packaging.
Your bike should also have a front white light and a rear red light. Riders must use these lights after dark. By law, your bike should also have a bell or a horn. If you are riding at night, reflectors, lights, and wearing bright clothing will help drivers see you while you travel.
Be sure to maintain your bike so that it works correctly at all times. Check your brakes regularly and ensure that your tires are inflated properly. It is also important to find a bike that fits you well. Your leg should be slightly bent when you touch the pedal at its lowest point.
Other Tips and Tricks
Use these other quick tips to stay safe while you are on your bike in Vancouver.
- Avoid carrying bags or loose loads on your handlebars.Taking items on your bike may cause problems as they might get caught in the wheels or alter your weight balance. You can avoid losing control of your bicycle by keeping these extra items to a minimum.
- Watch for pedestrians. Pedestrians have the right-of-way while they are walking in crosswalks, so you should stop for them just as you would in a car. You should also be sure to keep a lookout for passengers getting on and off of buses as well.
- Ride in a straight line. When you travel in a straight line away from parked cars, it is easier for drivers to predict what you will do. Try not to swerve through traffic and be sure to check behind you before you switch lanes.
- Learn hand signals. Using hand signals while you ride through traffic will help drivers predict where you are going. Be sure to go slow while you turn for your safety and others.
Call aVancouver Personal Injury Lawyer for A Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident while on a bicycle, you may have legal options. Contact our team at Diamond and Diamond by calling 1-800-567-HURT. We can help you determine your legal rights.