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Summer Cycling Safety Tips with Ottawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer David Hollingsworth

bicycle accideOttawa Bicycle Accident Lawyer, Cycling Accidents Ottawa .We all want to be out on our bicycles cycling around Ottawa.  There is much to see and do and getting out on a bicycle is one of the best ways of seeing our city. Of course, it is part of a healthy lifestyle, but bicycling also helps the environment. It’s important, as a cyclist in Ottawa, to be always be aware of your surroundings. Make sure your are visible and take all necessary safety precautions. As an Ottawa bicycle accident lawyer, I meet regularly with people involved in bicycle accidents who suffer very serious personal injury such as brain injury, head injury and broken bones.

In 2009, according to Transport Canada,  there were a total of 41 bicycle accident fatalities, and 435 serious personal injuries related to bicycle accidents. The Canada Safety Council recommends for all bicyclists to wear an approved bicycle helmet, which can prevent up to 88 % of brain injuries. Simply put: A bicycle helmet can save your life, so why wouldn’t you wear one? There are many bicycle safety measures you can take to help keep yourself and your children safe:

1. Always wear a helmet.

2. Pay attention and avoid distractions.

3. Obey the laws and road safety rules.  Cyclists have the same rights and duties as other drivers and need to follow the same traffic laws.

4. Be predictable — ride in a straight line, don’t swerve over sewers or bumps in the road, this will increase your chances of a collision with a vehicle.

5. Properly signal all turns and check behind you before completing a turn or changing lanes.

6. Come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights.

7. Stay visible. Be careful around parked cars and ride where drivers can see you.

8. Use lights at night and wear bright colored clothing.

9. Be alert -Try to watch for the next move of drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists.

10. Watch for debris, potholes, grates or any road obstacles.

11. Make sure your bicycle is in good working order. Make sure your tires don’t need air, brakes must work, chains should run smoothly, and quick release wheel levers must be closed.

As a driver, there are many steps you can take to avoid a bicycle accident

1. Respect cyclists’ right to share the road and responsibilities as motorists.

2. Obey the speed limits.

3. Come to a complete stop at  stop signs and red lights.

4. Do shoulder checks, and always check blind spots for cyclist.

5. Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and bicycles.

6. Yield to pedestrians and cyclists in crossways.

7. If you plan to turn right or pull into a parking space shortly ahead of a bicycle in front of you, do not pass. Allow the cyclist to pass first.

8. Signal all turns and lane changes well 30 in advance.

10. Only pass cyclists when it is safe to do so.

These cycling safety tips may seem basic but serve as a great reminder to us all.  Ottawa is a wonderful city to cycle in, let’s keep it safe ! We all need to focus more on cycling safety.  There are far too many very serious head injuries and other very serious personal injuries in Ottawa each year as the result of an Ottawa bicycle accidents.  As one of the top Ottawa bicycle accident lawyers, I encourage everyone to have a safe and accident free summer.

 

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