Cycling Safety – Cycling Facts

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People in Canada have taken to cycling in droves since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Global shortages of bicycles due to demand and supply chain issues have made getting a new bike challenging with the waitlist for specialty bikes common. Many bike shops are frustrated with the lack of availability of parts to fix used bikes as well.

Cycling is a healthy pastime and a COVID-safe way to commute to work for many who would otherwise take transit. Public transit ridership across North America is still down and this includes Waterloo Region which is still running well below the rates at which it was pre-pandemic.

Many municipalities including the ROW installed temporary bike lanes to provide cyclists with improved safety from cars and encouraged cycling even more. Trails, bike paths and parks have never seen so much two-wheel action. Entire families can be seen regularly riding around. It’s also good to see how many people are using helmets and flashing taillights for safety.

Cycling Facts and Benefits – Here are the numbers

  • 78% of Canadians feel that leaving a one-metre buffer between bikes and drivers is important and safe
  • 85% of Canadians feel that both cyclists and drivers share the responsibility to remain alert and paying attention while on the road
  • Almost 80% say it is integral to conduct a shoulder check before opening a car door, turning or changing lanes to keep cyclists safe
  • The number of Canadians using cycles as their method of commuting nearly doubled between 1996-2016 (Globe and Mail, 2016) and this has increased significantly again from anecdotal reports
  • Canadians our commuting on bikes at a rate of three times their American counterparts (Victoria Transport Policy Institute).
  • Travelling by bike vs. a car saves about $2/km (Centre for Active Transportation)

While cycling can be good for you and the environment, it is important to remember that it can be dangerous. Falls and collisions with motorized vehicles like cars and trucks and buses kill many cyclists each year. Many more are injured.  The CAA tracks many of the safety aspects of cycling.

Cycling Safety – Here are the numbers (StatsCan)

  • Most cycling injuries and deaths occur in the late afternoon and early evening 4 pm to 8 pm during rush hour and dusk/sunset/dark
  • In places where more people ride bikes there tend to be lower rates of cycling collisions and fatalities
  • About 1/3 cycling fatalities occurred in an accident where road rules weren’t followed – that means in 2/3 accidents the rules were not being broken
  • 74 Canadians die on average every year in cycling accidents
  • 74% of fatal cycling accidents involve a motor vehicle
  • The key to keeping cyclists safe on the roads and highways is better cycling infrastructure and separated lanes. Driver and cyclist education is also important

Keeping Cyclists Safe – Here are the numbers (CAA)

  • 31% of Canadians would cycle more if the road and trail and path infrastructure was better
  • 40% of Canadians say that separated bike lanes would encourage them to ride more
  • 30% of Canadians are cycling more since VOID-19 began

If you are out driving a car or cycling please be sure to pay attention to your surroundings, look for each other, don’t wear headphones, and follow the rules of the road. Ride defensively and anticipate that drivers DON’T see you.

If you or a loved one are injured seriously in a bicycle accident with a car, truck or bus you should contact one of the experienced lawyers at Deutschmann Personal Injury Law for a free initial consultation. Even if the driver has left the scene, you may be eligible for accident benefits. We will help you secure your future.