Marie-Claude Dulac

By Marie-Claude Dulac

July 4, 2014

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Ride your bike carefully to prevent accidents

Article revised on 18 June 2020

Even though the number of cyclists on our roads is constantly increasing, the number of serious accidents have been decreasing in Quebec (SAAQ). In order to help maintain this positive trend, here are a few safety tips.

1. Adopt the right habits

  • Always obey road signs and traffic signals.
  • Ride in a straight line when you’re cycling and avoid spaces between parked cars.
  • Remain vigilant at all times. Distracted motorists or cyclists are the main cause of fatal accidents. Look out for opening doors from stationary vehicles.
  • Signal your intentions to others on the road.
  • Make sure you are visible to motorists, especially when they’re turning or coming out of driveways. Approximately 90% of accidents occur in residential or commercial areas, mainly in zones where the speed limit is 50 km/h or less.

2. Wear the proper biking equipment

  • Wear a properly adjusted bike helmet. Head injuries continue to be the leading cause of death among cyclists. These types of injuries account for 60% of deaths and 30% of serious biking injuries.
  • Make sure your bike is in good condition, especially the brakes.
  • To ensure visibility, wear reflective clothing and install reflectors on your bike as well as headlights or auxiliary lights for cycling in the evening or at night.
  • To be even safer, add the following accessories:
    – A bell to make your presence known to others
    – A rearview mirror, so you can see vehicles behind you without turning around
    – A rear carrier, so you don’t have to carry belongings or wear a back pack, which can unbalance you.

Lastly, make sure you are well informed on bike safety. The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) has developed this Safe Cycling Guide . Check it out!

Happy cycling, and be safe!

Sources: Service de police de la Ville de Montréal and Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec.

Additional resources:
Bike insurance: Tips to adequately cover your bicycles
3 tips to help prevent bike theft

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