Staying Safe When Bicycle Riding in Ontario - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Staying Safe When Bicycle Riding in Ontario


Summer and early fall offer ideal conditions for bicycle riding for adults and children, but bicycle riders need to be aware of the risks associated with sharing the road with motor vehicles, pedestrians and other bicycle riders. According to a study of fatal bicycle accidents in Ontario, 87 percent of the victims were men with the majority of the accidents occurring during daylight hours. Cycling provides exercise, enjoyment and an environmentally safe means of getting around, but you need to follow a few precautions and take steps to prevent having an accident or mishap that could send you to a hospital emergency department.

Start with the right bicycle

No matter whether you intend to ride on hilly trails, take long trips to distant places or commute to work or school, there is a type of bicycle mountain bikes to a variety of road bikes to satisfy your needs. Regardless of which type of bicycle you choose, it is important that you be fitted to it.

Bicycles come in different sizes, and getting one that is too small or too big for you can be unsafe by making it difficult to control or stop. A bike shop can help you find one that is sized correctly for your height and inseam length. The people at the shop will also make certain the seat and handlebars are properly adjusted.

Parents should be careful about putting a child on a bicycle handed down from an older sibling. A bike that is too bike can make it difficult for a person, particularly a child, to touch the ground with their feet when they stop. Riders should be able to comfortably touch the ground with both feet and reach the handlebars without straining to do so.

Equipment designed for bicycle safety

Most manufacturers install reflectors on the front and rear of the bicycles they produce, but the law in Ontario requires riders to have a front headlight and a red light or reflector on the rear of their bikes to improve visibility when riding during at any time between a half hour prior to sunset and a half hour after sunrise. The law also requires each bike to be equipped with a working bell or horn to alert to signal to pedestrians, motorists and other bicyclists using the roads.

One of the most essential pieces of equipment for any bicycle rider is a properly fitting helmet. Riders younger than 18 years of age must wear a helmet approved by one of several organizations that set safety standards for bicycle helmets in Canada, including Snell, ANSI, ASTM, BSI, SAA and CPSC. Parents and guardians can be held responsible for allowing their children younger than 16 years of age to ride without a helmet.

Obey the rules of the road

Bicycle riders are expected to obey the same rules of the road as apply to other vehicles using the roads, including:

  • Using hand signals when stopping and turning
  • Obeying stop signs, traffic signals and other traffic control devices
  • Riding in single file
  • Use bicycle lanes where available

Ontario has installed bicycle traffic signals at certain intersections. These devices apply only to cyclists and may appear in addition to normal traffic signals. Riders are expected to obey the bicycle traffic signal at an intersection or risk an $85 fine.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

You might follow all of the rules and safety precautions for bicycle riders and still become the victim of an accident caused by a negligent driver. When an accident occurs, the personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation on behalf of those suffering injuries due to the negligence of others. If you are injured in an accident, you should speak to one of our lawyers. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims throughout Ontario.

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