Tips to share the road safely
Cyclists: Watch for motorists and pedestrians
Follow the rules of the road
Cyclists must obey all traffic laws: fines apply to cyclists too! Ride on the right side of the road (except when 2-way bike lanes are in place), stop for stop signs and red lights, signal all turns, and yield to traffic. With other cyclists, ride single file. And always dismount at a crosswalk.
Get rid of distractions
Pay attention to your surroundings, don’t wear headphones when riding and keep an eye out for hazards like potholes and loose gravel. Pay special attention at driveways and intersections and always check to make sure they are clear of cars before crossing them.
Watch for pedestrians
Cyclists and pedestrians can be a dangerous combination, especially in busy neighbourhoods. Sidewalk bike riding is usually forbidden, and highly restricted on walking trails as well.
Make your presence known
Use a bell, horn, or even your voice. Be sure to get noticed by wearing reflective clothing and using reflectors and a front light on your bike.
Wear a helmet
A helmet could save your life if you fall or get hit. Get a CSA-approved helmet and make sure it fits snugly and covers your forehead. If it has sustained an impact (you fell or have been in a collision), replace it.
Pedestrians do’s and don’ts
Cross only at marked crosswalks or traffic lights. Don’t jaywalk or cross if the light turns yellow. Don't cross in the middle of the road or between parked cars. Try to make eye contact with drivers before you step onto the road.
Dress to be seen. Wear bright or light-coloured clothing or reflective strips, especially at dusk or in the dark.
Use the sidewalk
If there is no sidewalk, walk along the side of the roadway, facing oncoming traffic.
Stay on the alert
Don’t listen to your music or text when you’re crossing the street, especially at night. Be extra cautious when boarding or exiting the bus or streetcar, as car drivers may not stop as they should.
Slow down and leave extra space:
- Take your time when passing a cyclist
- Don’t follow too closely behind or beside cyclists, as you can never be sure when they are going to slow down or stop
- Leave even more space in construction zones, or if it’s raining or snowing
- Watch for pedestrians getting on and off streetcars and buses
If you must text, eat or attend to your child, pull over safely to the side of the road.
Be patient with pedestrians
Drive cautiously through school zones and residential areas. Be extra careful at twilight when children may still be playing outside. Be patient with seniors and disabled people as they may need more time to cross the street.
Be considerate with cyclists
Scan the road ahead for cyclists and always check to make sure they’re clear of intersections or crosswalks before proceeding. When you’re parked, make sure there aren’t any cyclists beside you before you open your door! Never drive or park in a dedicated bike lane.
Don’t drink and drive
Even a small amount of alcohol can impair your judgement and reduce reaction time. It’s not worth the risk.
Remember, everyone is trying to get somewhere. If pedestrians, cyclists and motorists show some civic spirit and follow these simple tips to share the road, then everyone can enjoy a fun ride.
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The information and advice in this article are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages arising from any reliance upon such information or advice. The Personal recommends using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, expert advice.