Warm weather inevitably means sharing the road with more cyclists. This can cause frayed nerves for drivers. Many of them accuse cyclists of causing accidents, but a study of 2,500 bike-car collisions in Toronto found that cyclists caused less than 10 per cent of the crashes. Motorists were responsible for the rest.
To help Ontario drivers aged 16 to 24 become better and safer on the road, the auto insurance provider, ingenie, offers the following tips for sharing the road:
1. Keep a watchful eye for cyclists in slow moving or stationary traffic. Cyclists can ride alongside traffic, so make sure to check your mirrors before moving.
2. Give space when overtaking. It's perfectly fine to overtake a cyclist. Just make sure you give them as much space as you would when overtaking a car, and bear in mind that they might have to swerve to avoid potholes or other hazards.
3. Remember to check before turning right. When you're turning right, you must check your right mirror to make sure a cyclist hasn't pulled up alongside you. Don't forget to turn your head to the right and perform a shoulder check to make sure no one is in your blind spot.
4. Cyclists can be speedy, keep that in mind when turning left. Make sure you have time to turn if a cyclist is approaching from the opposite direction. If in doubt, let them go first. You can always turn when it's safe.
5. Check your mirrors when opening your car door. Once you've parked, you must check for cyclists before emerging. If you don't make sure the coast is clear before opening your door, you risk badly injuring the cyclist as well as wrecking your car.
Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians have a right to be safe on the road. We all play a role in keeping the conditions safe. Additional tips as well as information about earning good driving discounts is available at www.ingenie.ca.