With bicycles becoming an ever more popular sight on roads, tensions between drivers and cyclists have never been higher. As the debate rages on of who is in the right and who is in the wrong, whether you are a cyclist or driver, it is always important that both parties respect the rules of the road and each other.
For cyclists, precautions should be taken in order to make riding on the road is as safe as possible. A helmet should always be worn, and in some places, this is the law. Even an experienced rider may fall off their bike from time-to-time. Another great way to avoid getting close and personal with the pavement is making sure worn out or broken parts are fixed. A mechanical failure while riding on a busy road could be disastrous. It has also become common for cyclists to wear headphones and listen to music while riding. Although it might be nice to jam out on a long ride, listening to music is a distraction and robs riders of their ability to hear what is going on around them. Cyclists should always be on the lookout for potholes. Winters in Canada are harsh, and roads take a beating as a result, leaving cracks and large potholes that could be hazardous for someone riding on two wheels.
A great way to make sure drivers and cyclists are aware of each other is to wear bright or reflective clothing, especially in low light environments. Wearing black at night is not a good idea, and makes it difficult for drivers to see cyclists. All this being said, the lesson to be learned is that it is better to be safe, rather than sorry when out for a ride. Both cyclists and drivers are guilty of breaking the rules of the road. Having fewer wheels does not automatically mean fewer rules are followed. Cyclists should be familiar with local driving laws and follow road signs same as the owner of a vehicle. Safe cyclists should also use the proper hand signals when turning, which allow motorists to anticipate what a rider intends to do. Drivers should reciprocate good driving etiquette by familiarizing themselves with cycling hand signals and using appropriate turning signals.
Respect is the key to ensuring cyclists and drivers can co-exist on the road. Often, riders become a focal point for anger and frustration amongst motorists. However, cyclists do have the right to be on the road, and therefore both parties must adhere to the same laws. Patience and courtesy go a long way when navigating the streets. Something as simple as waiting two seconds for a vehicle to go by or giving a cyclist sufficient space when passing could save a trip to the hospital, court, or worse, the morgue. By understanding each other, and respecting one another, cyclists and drivers can co-exist and make roads safe for both.
If you were injured in a cycling accident, do not hesitate to contact MG Law. Call us at (613) 730-8460 to book your free consultation today. We have the experience and knowledge to help you get the compensation you deserve.