Summer Bicycle Accidents in Ontario: Common Injuries and Tips
Your sneakers are laced, your helmet buckled, and your knee pads (should you need them) are securely in place. It’s time for your first bike ride of the summer season. You’re ready to stretch your legs and zip along the streets, which is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air. However, cycling can also be a cause for concern. Injuries are increasingly common for cyclists on busy roads, so here are our top tips for preventing these accidents:
Safety Gear for Your Bicycle
Treat your bike as you would a vehicle, equipping it with similar features that allow you, and drivers alongside you, more discernibility. Start by putting mirrors on your bike so that you can always see behind you. Add a light to the front and back of your bicycle so your drivers can see you even in low-light conditions. Reflective tape along with the wheels and frame can also help increase visibility.
Learn Cycling Signals
There are three main hand signals you can use on a bike. These indicate a left turn, a right turn, and to indicate when you are stopping or braking. Even if a driver is unable to see you, they will likely notice a waving hand and can make adjustments in their driving to accommodate space for you on the road.
Understand Where is Best to Ride
In some areas, the sidewalk may be the best place for you to ride safely. Not all roads have bike lanes and an empty pedestrian walkway might be a better alternative to sharing the road. When riding on the street, consider taking up more space to your left, so motorists can see you better, and are unable to dangerously pass you.
Common Cycling Accident Injuries
Getting out on your bike is an activity that should come with an abundance of caution. A slower pace might take you longer to get where you need to be, but also protect you in case of an impact. A collision with a vehicle could result in a cut or scrape, perhaps even a broken bone depending on the impact. More severe injuries involve the spine and neck, which are parts of the body that can affect brain function and mobility.