“Think of Safety on the road”: Ontario doctors warn cyclists and drivers

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 Ontario’s doctors are reminding cyclists and drivers alike to keep our roads safe for cycling.

Tuesday is the start of Bike Month, which runs until June 30, so it is the perfect time for a safe cycling refresher.  Cycling is an easy, cost-effective method of exercise, but there are still too many people hurt, even killed, while riding a bike. Cyclists are most vulnerable during the afternoon rush hour and while biking at night. According to the Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre there were 26,012 emergency department visits in 2010/2011 related to bicycling injuries in the province.

Ontario’s doctors are encouraging the public to take these safety precautions:

If you are a cyclist:

  • Follow all traffic laws.
  • Know and use traffic hand signals.
  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay off electronic devices, which are illegal for both cyclists and drivers.
  • Wear a properly fitting helmet. The helmet should cover the top of the forehead and should rest about two fingers’ width above the eyebrows
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If you are a driver:

  • Wet weather conditions affect your ability to see other road users, especially cyclists. Slow down in bad weather, and be sure to give cyclists plenty of room on wet roads.
  • Plan turns and lane changes well in advance, and be aware of cyclist routes.
  • Leave lots of room when passing a cyclist, and check for cyclists prior to left or right turns.
  • Never follow too close to a cyclist – keep at least a three-to-four-second distance to a cyclist.
  • Scan around parked vehicles for cyclists.

Dr. Virginia Walley, President, Ontario Medical Association, said:”When done safely, cycling is a great form of exercise for any age group. When it comes to safe cycling, both cyclists and drivers have a shared responsibility. Cyclists need to follow the rules of the road and be aware of their surroundings – particularly at night, which is when most serious collisions occur. Drivers are reminded to obey the rules of the road and use extra caution around cyclists.”   – CNW

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