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Respect for each other could reduce car vs. bicycle accidents

Cycling season is here, and the Canadian Automobile Association recently took steps to limit accidents between vehicles and bicycles. CAA launched a public education program in British Columbia and across the country. The goal of the campaign is to get motorists and cyclists to consider each other and safely share the roads. 

CAA notes that almost all motorists cycled as children and might even still spend time riding with their families or as part of their fitness routines. Why then would they be impatient and inconsiderate when they encounter bicycles on the roads? Tensions often arise between the two groups, putting both at risk. 

A CAA spokesperson urged all road users to follow road rules instead of being at odds with others. He provided the following tips to help keep cyclists and car occupants safe through the summer and beyond: 

  • Leave the space required by law, or at least one metre, between the car and bicycle. 
  • A cyclist might have to swerve to avoid a pothole, and insufficient space could cause an accident. 
  • Be alert and avoid distractions because the leading cause of road accidents in Canada is distracted driving. 
  • Drivers must check their blind spots and mirrors before merging, passing, changing lanes or turning. 
  • Both drivers and cyclists must be predictable by clearly indicating their intentions by turn signals or hand signals. 
  • Without talking, drivers and cyclists can communicate and avoid accidents with devastating consequences. 
  • Motorists in parked cars should check for approaching bicycles before opening the doors. 
  • Bicyclists must be alert when driving past parked cars to avoid being surprised by an unexpected opened car door. 

British Columbia residents might find comfort in knowing they could pursue claims for monetary damages if another party’s negligence causes a vehicle accident. However, with the imminent reopening of Canada-U.S. borders, those travelling between Vancouver and Seattle might want to keep the CAA safety tips in mind because navigating cross-border personal injury lawsuits or insurance claims could be complicated.