Tips for Safer Cycling in Winter - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Tips for Safer Cycling in Winter


The popularity of bicycle riding has gotten a tremendous boost in Ontario. Joining the ranks of people using their bikes for exercise and recreation is a growing trend among commuters to forego traditional forms of transportation in favor of riding a bike to work. The onset of wintry weather does not mean riders must give up their daily routine as long as they follow a few precautions to make winter cycling safe.

Wear layers of clothing

As you head out the door, probably the first thing you will notice is the cold, which is perfectly normal. Your body is going to warm up as you begin pedaling, so you need to be able to make adjustments in your clothing as it does. Clothing should be layered and include the following:

  • First layer closest to the skin should be made of a moisture wicking material
  • Next layer should be fleece or other warm material
  • Outer jacket should be wind and water resistant
  • Wear gloves
  • Protect feet with wool or thermal socks
  • A knit cap should be worn under the helmet and should cover your ears

You should also wear a scarf or other garment to cover your mouth, so you are not inhaling frigid air as you ride.

You want to be seen

Shorter days combined with snow and sleet can make visibility difficult. The following will help drivers to see you:

  • Wear reflective clothing or add a reflective vest to your wardrobe
  • Add front and rear lights to your bicycle
  • Mount a light to your helmet to allow you to be seen and to light the path ahead of you

No matter how much you do to make yourself seen by motorists, keep in mind that falling snow or slush kicked up from the road surface by other vehicles can obscure a driver’s vision or block the light from a vehicle’s headlights. Before making a turn or doing anything that puts you into the path of a vehicle do not assume the driver will see you. It is better to wait for a car to stop or to pass before doing something that would put you in danger.

Make adjustments in the way you ride

Stopping on wet, icy or snow covered pavement can be difficult, so slow down and avoid making sudden stops that could cause you to lose control of your bike. Bikes with wider tires have better stability on winter roads. There are specially designed tires for winter riding, including tires with steel studs for better traction on ice.

Even on days when the road surface is clear of snow and ice, you should continue to exercise caution in how you ride. Salt and sand mixtures applied to the roads during winter months remain on the pavement and can cause a bicycle rider to skid and lose control when turning or stopping.

Trusted representation when accidents happen

A few precautions can make your winter bicycle ride a safe one, but when accidents occur, the personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have the knowledge and experience to get you the compensation you need and deserve when you are injured. Don’t delay, contact our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout Ontario.

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