The weather is still okay and many are out and about with their bicycles on our roads here in Ottawa. Sadly, Ottawa cycling accidents continue to occur and people are injured everyday day in our communities. There has been talk for years regarding the implementation of a “safe cycling educational” campaign or program here in Ottawa, but I think that we need to make progress more quickly. Consider the tragedies:
Ottawa Bicycle Accident
Just consider the serious injuries and deaths in the last little while here in Ottawa. This month, a 71-year-old cyclist fought for his life in hospital secondary to a collision with an automobile on Hawthorne Road. Alex Hayes, another tragic story, an innocent high school student, killed by a vehicle while riding his bicycle. . Another tragedy involved a 48-year-old cyclist, killed due to head and neck injuries on Somerset St at night. John Barton, 53, another cyclist killed recently while on the road. And finally, 16-year-old Robin Freeman killed while cyclist after contact with a motorcycle (both motorcyclist and Freeman were killed).
There are steps you can take to protect you and your loved ones from injury and death while bicycling. Overall, if you decide to cycle, make it a lifestyle decision. This means opening your mind to the requirements of bicycle culture and bicycle safety. Avoiding collisions with vehicles is never a guarantee, but you can take certain steps to reduce your chance of injury. For example, using a bicycle or helmet headlight, wearing protective and reflective clothing, and enhancing your bicycle can make you more visible. Buying a horn can give you the attention you need when you need it. Slow down and paying attention to your surroundings is key. Choosing wide, slower streets, and on weekends, back streets because they can be safer on Saturday and Sundays, for example, because of the increase in drunk vehicle traffic on main streets. You can’t control other people’s driving but please do everything you can to protect yourself. Thanks for reading everyone, and please ride safely!