Learn to share the road with cyclists, especially in summer when they are out in greater numbers. Photo: ICBC.

Learn to share the road with cyclists, especially in summer when they are out in greater numbers. Photo: ICBC.

Warm weather means more cyclists on the road, so be careful out there

Accidents involving cyclists rise sharply during the summer months.

Now that the good weather is here, ICBC is urging drivers and cyclists to take extra care on the province’s roads.

As ridership increases in the summer, so does the number of cyclist-related crashes. In B.C., 760 cyclists are injured and seven are killed in car crashes from June to September every year. Six cyclists are injured every day in the summer in B.C. In the Southern Interior, on average, 160 cyclists are injured and three killed every year.

“More crashes mean more deaths, injuries, and claims, which is why we need to work together to make roads safer,” says Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s acting vice-president responsible for road safety. “Whether you’re a driver or a cyclist, please do your part to drive smart.”

Tips for drivers:

• As a driver, you see cyclists when you really look for them. Stay alert, especially at intersections, and be ready to yield the right-of-way.

• Watch for cyclists on the road and make eye contact if you can, so they can anticipate your next move.

• Shoulder check for cyclists before turning right, and watch for oncoming cyclists before turning left. Scan for cyclists before you enter the roadway from an alley or get in and out of a parking spot.

• Both drivers and passengers must shoulder check for cyclists before opening their vehicle door. Not only will it keep cyclists safe, it will help you avoid a dooring violation and fine.

• Maintain at least three seconds of following distance behind cyclists, and at least one metre when passing a cyclist. Don’t risk side-swiping or running a cyclist off the road.

Tips for cyclists:

• Obey all traffic signs and signals and follow the rules of the road.

• Use designated bike routes whenever possible: they’re safer and reduce conflicts with vehicle traffic.

• If there’s no bike lane, keep to the right-hand side of the road as much as it’s safe to do so. It’s illegal to ride on most sidewalks and crosswalks: it puts pedestrians in danger, and drivers don’t expect cyclists to enter the roadway from a sidewalk.

• Use caution around parked vehicles. Be aware of people in vehicles to avoid getting hit by an opening door. It’s best to keep at least one metre away from parked vehicles.

• Before making any turns, shoulder check and hand signal in advance. Remember, drivers sometimes fail to yield right-of-way.


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