If you don't follow the traffic rules, the consequences can be serious with an average of 2 deaths and 136 injured cyclists each year.
To stay safe on the roads remember to:
- Always wear a helmet.
- Ride single file on the right-hand side of the road.
- Provide arm signals when turning or changing lanes.
- Look both ways before crossing the street.
- Obey traffic lights and signs. It's okay to walk your bike through an intersection if riding through busy traffic makes you uncomfortable.
- Learn to look over your shoulders without losing your balance or swerving.
- Scan the road ahead for potholes, railway crossings, slippery surfaces, loose gravel and other obstacles.
- Remember that drivers have blind spots. Ride either well ahead of or well behind vehicles.
- Experienced riders should ride on the road, not the sidewalk. Beginners should learn on the sidewalk and be accompanied by an adult.
- Never wear headphones when cycling. The music drowns out the noise of traffic and is distracting.
- Always ride with caution. Although you may see an approaching vehicle, the driver may not see you.
Learn more about bicycle safety from the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute.
Additional bike equipment
Even if you follow the rules of the road, motorists may not see you. In addition to a helmet, there is other equipment that will help you to ride safely:
- A headlight helps you to see and be seen.
- Install reflectors (front, rear, spokes and pedals) and wear bright clothes to be extra visible.
- Ride a bike that fits. You should be able to stand over the top tube of the bicycle (between the handlebars and saddle) with both feet on the ground. You should be able to put your tiptoes on the ground when seated on the saddle.
- Beginner cyclists should be able to put their feet flat on the ground while seated on the saddle. The seat can be raised as the beginner gains confidence and skill. A bicycle that is too big or not adjusted properly is not just uncomfortable, it is dangerous to operate.
- Keep both hands on the handlebars. If you have to carry something, use a backpack - or a basket, saddlebag or rack attached to your bike. (Make sure the load is balanced and secure.)
- Keep your bike in good working condition. Take a bike course, learn from a magazine or take your bike to a shop and let an expert handle the job.
- Consider adding a mirror, fenders, chain guard and kick stand to your bike for added safety.
Be aware of and respect other drivers, whether they're on 2 wheels or 4. If you understand and follow the traffic rules, you'll make our streets and highways safer for everyone. Have a safe cycling season.
1-800-667-8015 ext. 6042