Bike safety for both cyclists and drivers
Every year, nearly 7,500 cyclists across Canada are seriously injured. Even more surprising than how many is where cyclists get hurt or killed. More often than not, it’s at an intersection with existing traffc signals or signs.
Add to that the COVID factor: During the pandemic last year, bike sales skyrocketed with people seeming to buy them as quickly as they stocked up on toilet paper. According to a 2020 poll conducted by CAA, nearly a third of Canadians cycled more often than the previous year. The result is roads flooded with cyclists and increased potential for collisions with automobiles.
“We might be a driver one day and a cyclist the next,” says Kristine D’Arbelles, director of public affairs at CAA National. “So it’s important that we share the road to help keep everyone safe—whether you’re on two wheels or four.”
Safe cycling 101
This summer, CAA is launching a new bike safety campaign: caa.ca/bike. The public awareness program builds upon CAA’s longstanding commitment to bike safety.
On the new safety portal, you can find out which month is most deadly for cyclists (spoiler alert: it’s July), among other stats. Bike riders can also brush up on road rules and get helpful advice.
There’s also a wealth of info for Manitobans behind the wheel, from road-sharing tips to videos demonstrating the best ways to avoid collisions with cyclists. And if you’ve ever been confused about who has the right of way at an intersection, caa.ca/bike offers step-by-step instructions for proceeding safely.
A family affair
Teaching bike safety at a young age helps kids practice good habits behind the handlebars. CAA developed an online Test Drive checklist to walk parents through basic safety skills kids need to learn, including hand signals and how to enter the road from a driveway.
“Getting your kids involved will help them ride as safely as possible when out on their own,” D’Arbelles says. “Basic practices, like making eye contact with drivers and not riding in a driver’s blind spot, can prevent them from becoming another tragic statistic.”
If you run into a problem with your bicycle while on the road, get the help you need with CAA Bike Assist.