Ottawa Cycling Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth shares bicycle safety tips.

Ottawa Cycling Accident Lawyer

Well it is officially summer .  What a gorgeous day to be out on a bicycle and although Ottawa has many designated cycling paths, a cycling accident can happen anytime, any place. We thought this would be a great time to review a few cycling safety tips and ideas on how to keep you and your children safe while cycling.

The first tip is the most obvious: Always wear a helmet..that includes parents too.  Although the law only requires cyclists under 18 to wear a helmet, it’s the right thing to do. Lead by example and show your children that yes, even adults need to protect themselves while cycling.

Replace a helmet if its is at all damaged or cracked.  You might think it seems like just a small crack; however, a small crack on a helmet is enough to compromise the helmet and render it useless in a cycling accident.

Make sure the helmet fits properly.  There is no point in wearing an ill-fitting helmet if it’s going to fall off in impact. The Ontario government promotes the “2-4-1 Helmet Salute”  a proper fitting helmet is when  1) you can fit “2” fingers between the helmet and the eyebrows, 2) helmet straps meet in a “V” shape below the ears (that’s 4 fingers) and lastly 3) one finger would fit between the chin strap and the chin.

If you wear a helmet properly, the helmet will absorb the force of the impact from hitting your head and spread that force throughout the helmet; which then reduces the impact on the brain.  When the brain crashes , it moves throughout the fluid in the skull and hits the sides of the skull. Often times, an impact of this nature can leave a brain bruised, swollen or bleeding. The result can be a brain injury and many brain injuries are permanent and life altering.

Avoiding Ottawa Cycling Accidents

Ride the right size of bicycle.  Yes, your child might be excited to move up to the next size of bicycle; however you need to make sure they are riding a bicycle with the correct frame size, seat height, frame length, and proper working brakes. A bicycle that is too big is difficult to control properly and can result in a bicycle accident.

Make yourself visible and heard.  Ensure your bicycle has adequate lights, reflectors, bells, horns or reflective tape.

Before heading out, give your bicycle a once-over check. Check the ABCs…air, brakes, and chain.

Know and follow the rules of the road.  Don’t forget, a bicycle is a vehicle and must follow the rules and laws just as a driver of a car would do. This includes leaving enough space between you and other drivers, riding one metre from the curb or from other parked cars, riding in a straight line on the right hand side of the road, obeying all traffic signs, using the proper hand signals , stopping at stop signs and red lights, stopping for buses, stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks etc..

Never, ever ride against traffic.  Drivers simply aren’t aware of cyclists riding on the left side of the road.

Watch for road hazards such as puddles, potholes, loose gravel, loose pavement etc…

One of the most common cycling accidents we see as Ottawa personal injury lawyers are bicycle accidents involving right turning vehicles. Always stay behind a vehicle as you get close to the intersection and do not try to pass.  Often times the result is that the cyclist gets pinched in and often pinned beneath the vehicle.

There are many valuable resources throughout the Ottawa community and throughout Ontario. for more information on cycling safety visit:   City of Ottawa Cycling Safety, Service Ontario, Citizens for Cycling Safety, Kids CAN-BIKE, Ontario Cycling Association to name a few.

Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyers

If you have any questions that relate to cycling accidents and personal injury law, feel free to contact any of our Ottawa personal injury lawyers and we would be happen to provide you with the information you need.

Ottawa bicycle accident

Our lawyers travel to you and will ensure you are well taken care of following an Ottawa bicycle accident.


CBC journalist shares his top 10 safety tips for Ottawa cyclists.

Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyers David Hollingsworth.

CBC video journalist Steve Fischer produced a top ten list for cyclists in the Ottawa area that I wanted to share. Not only is he a video journalist, he is an avid cyclist.  In the article Steve gave his top 10 safety tips for cycling in the Ottawa area. I have paraphrased slightly and put a bit of my own spin on some of his recommendations…

  1. Purchase a rear view mirror. Cars have them and so should bicycles. A rear view mirror can attach to sunglasses, helmets or a bicycle depending on your preference.
  2. Always wear a helmet. A helmet could save your life.
  3. Make use of lights and a bells. If riding at dusk or later,  LED red light that blinks are the best and will help make you more visible at night.   Bells are also required by law.
  4. Properly maintain your brakes. Brakes need to be checked regularly.
  5. Always obey the rules of the road. Make sure you top at red lights, ride on the right side of the road, come to a proper stop at stop signs, make safe lane changes.
  6. If possible, avoid commuter areas such as  Carling Avenue, Heron Road, Baseline Road, Albert St,  Bronson Avenue, Main Street, Scott Street, , Slater, Greenbank Rd, Woodroffe Ave, and Innes Road. These Ottawa roads are incredible busy and not as safe for cyclists.
  7. Always use designated bike paths and bike lanes. Ottawa has many designated areas for cyclists only..use them !
  8. Be aware of parked cars. Cyclists get hit by doors being opened all the time. Be on the look out for people sitting in their cars who may be exiting their vehicles.
  9. For downtown cyclists, use the Laurier Ave bike lane. It is the safest way to travel east to west through the downtown core.  Watch out for pedestrians as this is an area with high traffic volumes.
  10. Be very careful when cycling close to an OC Transpo bus. It is not safe to pass them.

original article can be found here:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2013/07/19/ottawa-cycling-safety-tips-roads.html

As an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I meet regularly with people who have been injured in a cycling accident. Most times these accidents could have been avoided. Its important to use your common sense.   Ottawa does have many designated bike paths, yet we still see a number of tragic cycling accidents each year in Ottawa. Please cycle safely. To all Ottawa drivers, please be aware of other vehicles on the road such as cyclists.  Cyclists, drivers and pedestrians need to share the road to ensure a safer Ottawa.

 


How can we help make Ottawa a safer place to cycle? Ottawa cycling accident Riverside and Bank results in tragic death.

Ottawa Cycling Accident

Sadly, another tragic Ottawa bicycle accident has occurred. Last night a 56 year old female cyclist died while cycling on Riverside Drive and Bank Street.  She was cycling along and was hit by a cement truck . When Ottawa paramedics  arrived at the Ottawa accident scene they attempted to save her life but the force of the hit was so strong they were unable to help and she dies at the scene of the accident. The cause of the bicycle accident is unknown and Ottawa police are investigating. If you witnessed this accident or have any information that could help determine the cause of this Ottawa accident, please contact the Ottawa Police at 613-236-1222.

We know that a great deal of people cycle in Ottawa,  so how can we help keep them safe? We can’t keep losing valuable lives such as this woman’s. My thoughts go out to her family and friends at this terribly difficult time.

This tragic death sparks debate once again in Ottawa as to what to do.  Do we need more cycling paths in Ottawa? Do we need to focus on more  education for cyclists? Do we need an education campaign for drivers? Our injury lawyers would love to hear your thoughts. Please visit www.ottawainjury.ca , call (613) 978-9549   or   (613) 237-4922 ext.203  or  email us at david@ottawainjury.ca.

There are already many cycling advocacy groups in Ottawa. These groups, along with Ottawa Police , safety groups and the Ottawa community at large can make a big difference.  Whether you are a cyclist in Ottawa or not, our community needs to be as safe as possible for everyone.  I urge you to contact your MPP if you have any suggestions on how to make Ottawa a safer place for everyone and in particular if you have ideas on how we can reduce the number of Ottawa accidents that happen daily.

Ottawa Cycling Accident Lawyers David Hollingsworth

If you have been involved in a cycling accident in Ottawa, there are accident benefits and insurance compensation that you are entitled to. Call us free of charge to discuss how we can help you . For more information, visit www.ottawainjury.ca/cycling-accidents/

 


Ottawa Injury Lawyer : Ottawa cycling accident Innes road and Belcourt sends male to Ottawa hospital with serious injuries.

Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Yesterday we reported of an Ottawa cyclists being struck and sadly last night another Ottawa cyclist was struck close to Innes Road and Belcourt Boulevard at approximately 9:45 p.m. The male cyclist was rushed to an Ottawa hospital with serious personal injuries but thankfully Ottawa Police reported that the injuries were not life threatening. I wish him a full and hopefully not lengthy recovery.

I know that it’s summer and there are more bicycles on our Ottawa roads but I worry about the number of cycling accidents that occur each year in Ottawa. Statistics Canada reported that approximately 7,500 cyclists suffer serious personal injuries each year and that as many as 70,000 others are likely treated in hospital emergency rooms for cycling accidents and related personal injuries.

Cycling Accidents in Ottawa

We all need to do our part to reduce the number of Ottawa cycling accidents.  This means drivers need to slow down, look for cyclists and be aware that there are MANY cyclists out there on Ottawa roads and we all need to share the road.  Cyclists also need to be aware of how vulnerable they are on the roads, cycle accordingly and also follow the rules of the road.

Ottawa is a busy city with a great cycling culture. I encourage everyone who can to get out there on their bicycles as much as possible. We need to work together as drivers and cyclists to ensure a safer Ottawa for everyone. This goes for kids and adults alike. Reducing the number of Ottawa bicycle accidents is not an unrealistic goal; in fact I think it is an excellent goal for our city. We have put a lot of funding into making our bike paths and bike lanes safer for Ottawa cyclists and still, there needs to be more. Safe cycling and don’t forget to protect your head !

If you’ve been injured in a cycling accident, contact us for a free consultation or visit our website at www.ottawainjury.ca/cycling-accidents/

 

 


Ottawa lawyers: Ottawa cycling accident sends woman to hospital with unknown injuries.

Ottawa Cycling Accident

This is a reminder for all Ottawa cyclists and Ottawa drivers to please share the road and be aware of others on the road. Another Ottawa  cyclist is in hospital after a cycling accident on Rideau and Dalhousie, yesterday at approximately 1:30 p.m. This is an extremely busy intersection and also an intersection where many Ottawa accidents have occurred. Ottawa has many high traffic areas, especially in our downtown core. It is extremely important especially in high traffic areas that everyone slows down a bit and pay particular attention to where they are driving and cycling. It could very well save a life and at the very least can help reduce the number of Ottawa accidents. There are no reports as to the severity of the female cyclists condition at this time. I wish her a full recovery.

Did you know? Cycling accidents and Ontario Accident Benefits Insurance

Cyclists are entitled to accident benefits if they have been injured in an accident , even if they do not have insurance.  Many cyclists are unaware of the compensation they are entitled to following an accident in Ontario. Ontario Accident Benefits can cover expenses and compensation, regardless of who is at fault and regardless of whether or not a cyclist has their own insurance or not. If you have been injured in an accident in Ontario. Contact an experienced Ottawa personal injury lawyer to find out what services, support and benefits you are entitled to.

Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers are highly experienced in cycling accidents and maximizing insurance claims. For more information, visit our cycling accident page at www.ottawainjury.ca/cycling-accidents/. Our personal injury lawyers will travel to you and walk you through the options cyclists have when it comes to accidents and insurance claims. Cyclists have rights and it’s important cyclists are informed.


Ottawa injury lawyers David Hollingsworth and Associates share cycling safety tips for cyclists of all ages.

Ottawa Cycling Accidents

The kids are out on their bikes and summer is finally here. This can also means an increase in the number of bicycle related accidents.  Ottawa Police recently targeted bicycle safety infractions in Ottawa with a goal of educating people and enforcing  the rules of the road. Read more about this initiative here  http://www.ottawainjury.ca/lawyers/ottawa-personal-injury-accidents/ottawa-personal-injury-lawyers-happy-to-see-ottawa-police-focusing-on-cycling-safety/ and the results were astonishing.

The Ministry of Transportation has put out some great resources and safety tips for cyclists of all ages.

They offer FREE cycling guides that can be immediately downloaded.

The Ministry has produced a detailed handbook of rules and safety standards for all riders entitled “Cycling Skills: Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling” and the “Young Cyclist’s Guide” , which is a handbook designed for younger riders that deals specifically with cycling safety tips and rules for children on bicycles.  I highly urge you to take a look and if possible download these guides to share with your children.

There are rules and regulations when it comes to bicycle use. In Ontario, bicycles do not require registration, plates, or  insurance.  Anyone is allowed to ride a bicycle; however, the rules of the road to apply to bicycles. For instance,  a cyclist must share the road with other vehicles.

Under the HTA, the Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act a bicycle is a vehicle, just like any other vehicle such as a car and cyclists must obey  all traffic laws. Cyclists must also be responsible drivers and must obey rules surrounding bicycles. For example, on a regular bicycle, it is illegal to transport a passenger , when the bicycle is meant for one person only.

In Ontario, all cyclists must stay as close as possible to the right edge of the road , unless otherwise indicated. In some instances, there may be designated bike lanes that are not immediately to the right . Cyclists in Ontario cannot ride their bicycles on most highways ( Ontario’s 400-series highways) and cyclists must not drive across a road within a pedestrian crossover . The rules in Ontario are that cyclists  must walk their bicycles to the other side of the crossover.

Ontario law states that every cyclist under the age of 18 years must wear an approved helmet and for cyclists under the age of16 years old, it is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to ensure their child is wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle. The helmet must also fit properly to offer as much protection as possible.

While not mandatory for adults, as an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, I strongly urge all adults to wear a helmet while cycling. Helmets are not compulsory for adults, but in my opinion,  the use of a helmet may very well save your life.  There are plenty of cycling resources out there and the Ministry of Transportation is just one of them, but a good one, so I thought I would share it with you.  Have a great, safe summer of cycling.

 


Ottawa Police safety blitz to focus on Ottawa cycling safety and what you can do to avoid a bicycle accident.

Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth.

Our Ottawa Police will be conducting a safety blitz for Ottawa cyclists .  They plan to mainly target Ottawa’s downtown core most of next week.   Specifically they will be looking to remind cyclists ..

– to stop at all stop signs and red lights,

-use proper hand signals,

-exercise caution when crossing intersections.

-shoulder check and signal all lane changes, turns and stops.

-be bright and visible at night

-share the road with other cyclists and drivers.

-recognize and be mindful of blind spots around cars, trucks and buses.

-cycle on the right side of the road.

-ride only in the designated direction on one-way streets.

-stay off sidewalks.

-wear a helmet if under 18.

-have a bell, gong, or horn on your bike.

Did you know that approximately  7,500 cyclists are seriously injured each year in Canada? Did you also know that most bicycle injuries and accidents occur during the afternoon rush hour ?  18% of cyclists killed in traffic accidents are  under the age of 16 ? 34% of cyclists who were killed were hit by a vehicle in the dark ?

(Statistics Canada)

These statistic are alarming.  As an Ottawa bicycle accident lawyer I urge both drivers and cyclists to be aware of the safety steps that can be taken that may very well save a life.  Both drivers and cyclists need to be extremely aware of one another and share the road accordingly. Ottawa has seen our share of tragic cycling accidents in the past few years , despite how many wonderful paths and what a great cycling culture we have here in Ottawa.  If you are out there on our roads as a cyclists or drivers, please do everything you can to make it a safe ride for everyone.

Let’s reduce Ottawa cycling accident and continue to work on our great cycling culture that we are so fortunate to have in our city.

 

 


Ottawa cycling accident Riverside drive sends man to Ottawa hospital with severe head injury.

Ottawa Cycling Accident.

Ottawa newspapers reported that a 35 year old Ottawa cyclist was rushed to an Ottawa hospital after being struck on his bicycle on Bank Street this morning. Ottawa Paramedics rushed to the cycling accident close to Riverside Drive. Upon arrival at the hospital,the cyclist was said to have been in stable condition; however with severe abdominal and head injuries. Often times cycling accidents have very severe consequences and sadly many cyclists suffer very serious injuries including brain injuries and head injuries.  I hope this is not the case here and this cyclist is able to recover fully.

It’s important to know that if you are injured in a cycling accident, you are able to access Ontario accident benefits through the driver’s insurance. There are many insurance benefits available to cyclists in Ontario.  If you are in doubt of what you cyclists are entitled to, consult with a personal injury lawyer to ensure you receive proper treatments and maximum compensation.


Are you a Ottawa cyclist? Do you know the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and Ottawa cycling bylaws?

Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyers David Hollingsworth

It looks to be a gorgeous day in Ottawa and I suspect many people will be getting their bicycles out for the first time this year.  Cycling is an amazing activity. Sadly, it is not an activity without it’s risks.  There are many things drivers and cyclists can do to help reduce the likelihood of a cycling accident.  There are also a number of laws in Ottawa surrounding cycling and cycling safety.

For example, did you know that  in certain circumstances a bicycle is considered to be a vehicle and that any collisions must be reported  to Ottawa police if  injuries or damages are in excess of $1,000 ? It’s important to treat a cycling accident like you would a motor vehicle accident.  Gather all the information such as names, phone numbers, witnesses, insurance information, policy numbers etc. As soon as possible, write out your account of what happened in the accident and keep this information in a safe place. Cyclists who are hit by a motor vehicle are entitled to compensation through the driver’s insurance company and Ontario accident benefits.

The Ontario Highway Traffic Act is also quite specific when it comes to bicycles.  If it’s a 1/2  hour before sunset or 1/2 hour after sunrise, or anytime there is reduced visibility. By law, every bicycle must be fully equipped with…

  • A working bell or horn (A fine of $85 can be issued if you are cycling without a working bell or horn)
  • A working braking system on the rear wheel (A fine of $85 can be issued if you are cycling without a proper working braking system)
  • A front light (white) (A fine of $20 can be issued if you are cycling without lights)
  • A  rear light (red) or red rear reflector
  • 2 pieces of white reflective tape on front forks
  • 2 pieces of red reflective tape on rear forks

In Ottawa, bicycle helmets must be worn by all cyclists under 16 years of age. A fine of $60.00 can be issued for not wearing a helmet. All helmets must be CSA or CPSC certified. All helmets need to fit properly and close to the head and all bicycle helmet straps need to fit properly under the ears.

A few basic pathway rules are…

  • Cycle on the right of the yellow centre line
  • Be cautious when passing others
  • Always use a bell/voice/horn when passing others
  • Whenever possible use hand turn signals
  • Cycle at a reasonable speed
  • Exercise caution while cycling in the evening. Slow down, wear bright colored clothes and turn on all bicycle lights

Cyclists who do not yield or stop for pedestrians at crosswalks are subject to a $85.00 fine.

Cyclists who do not walk their bikes  at crosswalks are subject to $85.00

The following are not considered to be bicycles and therefore have different laws :

  • Limited speed motorcycles
  • Motor assisted bicycles
  • Segway Transporters
  • Low speed vehicles
  • Motorized scooters
  • Pocket bikes

Please enjoy your day out on your bicycles and ride safely.  Sadly, I meet too regularly with Ottawa bicycle accident victims who have bit hit, doored or suffered serious personal injuries as a result of a cycling accident. Both drivers and cyclists have their role in helping reduce the number of Ottawa cycling accidents.  Let’s work together on this Ottawa !

 


Ottawa cycling accident Rockliffe Parkway and Aviation Parkway results in serious head injury, ankle injury and shoulder injury.

Ottawa Cycling Accident

An Ottawa cycling accident has occurred; however this Ottawa cycling accident was between 2 cyclists.  A 56-year-old cyclist suffered a serious head injury when his bicycle  hit another cyclist on the Rockliffe Parkway this afternoon. The second cyclist was stopped at the side of the road,  east of the Aviation Parkway when he was struck.

The impact was significant and the cyclist was thrown into the air upon impact. He was  rushed to an Ottawa hospital in serious, but thankfully stable condition. The other cyclist was treated for a serious ankle injury and shoulder injury and was also rushed to a Ottawa hospital in stable condition.  I hope both cyclists are able to recover from this accident.

Cyclists have many rights to compensation when it comes to insurance claims and medical coverage.  It is always best to consult with a personal injury Ottawa lawyer if you have been involved in a Ottawa cycling accident or a cycling accident in Ontario. Experienced lawyers can walk you through your rights and explain what compensation you may be entitled to , regardless of whether or not you have an insurance company.  Ontario’s no-fault insurance system is designed to protect individuals so that regardless of whether or not you were at fault or have your own insurance, you can be covered if you are injured.

Cyclists in particular are vulnerable in accidents.  Obviously, a cyclist is much less protected and usually the one that suffers the greatest injuries in an accident.  Unfortunately, a bicycle does not offer the same protection as a car or motor vehicle.  Most cycling accidents result in very serious, long-lasting injuries.  This is why it is critical that anyone involved in a cycling accident speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer, experienced in cycling accidents to ensure that any and all accident benefits are accessed.

Our personal injury lawyers are here for you after your cycling accident.