Bike Riding Etiquette and Safety
October 22, 2020, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
Bike sales in Ontario have surged since we entered the COVID-19 pandemic period in March this year. Many people did not feel safe on public transit, or their transit services were not running where and when they needed them. Others looking for ways to spend time outdoors exercising took bike riding back up. Still others simply wanted an excuse to leave their homes and see something other than the walls of their houses.
This surge in new riders, along with the surge in people walking and running outdoors has led to some conflicts and confusion about biking etiquette. Let's run through the basics.
- Bikes are considered vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act and must follow the rules of the road. You must obey all traffic laws, you have the same rights and obligations as drivers.
- You must stay as close to the edge of the road as practical when being passed.
- You can ride on any road except controlled-access highways (the 400 series for example)
- If you are riding on a multiuse trail you should approach slower traffic from the rear and ring your bell to indicate your presence. You can call out that you are planning to pass them as a courtesy as well. You should never attempt to scare anyone else on a trail, nor to pass them unsafely.
- Make sure you are wearing and using the correct safety gear. The law requires you have:
- A helmet
- A bell or a horn
- A white front light and a red rear light or reflector
- White reflective tape on the front forks and red reflective tape on the back forks
- Optional equipment could include:
- A safety flag horizontally
- A vertical safety flag
- A rearview mirror
- Reflective or hi-viz clothing
- Ride sober
- Make sure your bike is the correct size and the brakes work.
- Signal your turns and lane changes
- Obey all stop signs and lights
- Use caution when riding in traffic. Assume the cars have not seen you and ride defensively.
- Take care of doors opening suddenly when you are riding around parked cars.
The MTO has released a great booklet called Cycling Skills that you can download. It has tips and techniques for all kinds of road cycling that even seasoned riders may find useful.
If you are riding your bike take care and keep up the good work. It’s fun, fast and super exercise.
|Posted under Accident Benefit News, Automobile Accident Benefits, Bicycle Accidents
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About Deutschmann Law
Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.
It is important that you review your accident benefit file with one of our experienced personal injury / car accident lawyers to ensure that you obtain access to all your benefits which include, but are limited to, things like physiotherapy, income replacement benefits, vocational retraining and home modifications.