The weather changes for the better and suddenly the roads are full of drivers and cyclists and pedestrians are everywhere.
Sharing the road safely means everyone is paying attention and following the rules. Be aware and know who’s on the road with you.
Here are basic tips for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians to share the road safely:
Safety tips for drivers: Check your mirrors and blind spots before turning, changing lanes, passing, or merging.
Do not follow a cyclist too closely. Keep a safe distance between your car and the cyclist in front of you.
Pass cyclists only if it’s safe to do so.
Before you get out of your car, check to see if you could be opening your car door into an oncoming cyclist.
When you are turning right, yield to any cyclist on your right.
When you are turning left, watch for and yield to cyclists just as you would to oncoming cars.
Pedestrians have priority at crosswalks. Allow them to complete a crossing safely.
Slow down and do not pass other cars in a pedestrian corridor.
Safety tips for cyclists: When a roadway isn’t equipped with a bike lane, you must ride in the same direction as the traffic. You cannot ride on the sidewalk.
Ride as close as you reasonably can to the right-hand side of the road.
When there are parked cars on either side of an intersection, unless turning, you should continue riding in a straight line. Do not weave in and out of parked cars. Try to stay at least 1.5 meters away from the parked cars to avoid crashing into an open car door.
Obey traffic signals and do not run red lights.
When you are turning right: Signal with your arm and move closer to the middle of the most-right lane (to maximize visibility). Follow the same path that a car would take until the turn is completed. Once the turn is completed, signal and return to the right side of the road.
When you are turning left: Just like a driver, you should never make a left turn from the right side of the road. Check and signal and then move to the left for a left turn. Check again.
Buses and large commercial vehicles have large blind spots. The driver cannot see you if you are directly behind.
If you can't see the driver’s face in the large vehicle’s side-view mirror, the driver cannot see you. Establish eye contact with the driver. Do not position yourself between a bus and the sidewalk or a truck and the sidewalk.
Safety tips for pedestrians: It’s best to cross at intersections, preferably ones with traffic control signs or signals. Before you step off the curb, make sure that all cars have stopped, and drivers can see you.
Make eye contact with drivers to ensure they’ve seen you and are aware you will cross the road.
Look left and right and then left again before stepping into the street, even when the green light and walking figure signal show that you are allowed to cross.
Do not step out from between parked vehicles to cross a street because a driver may not see you.
Stop and look for cars where a sidewalk meets the entrance to a parking lot, laneway, or driveway.
If there is no sidewalk, walk along the left-hand edge of the roadway facing oncoming traffic.
Do not start to cross a street when you see the orange hand is blinking because there might not be enough time to cross safely.
What if an accident happens involving a cyclist or pedestrian?
If a cyclist collides with a pedestrian, no motor vehicle is involved, and the pedestrian launches a personal injury lawsuit, the cyclist should speak to an advisor at one of our Wyatt Dowling branches about their home insurance policy or renter’s policy.
As a cyclist, if you have a home, condo, or tenant insurance policy, there’s a good chance your bike will be covered against damage up to a certain amount. Cyclists who are unsure of their coverage should ask their insurance expert.