Bicycle-sharing programs have increased the popularity of cycling in Canada, both as a commuting option and cardiovascular activity. Every year, dozens of Canadians become seriously injured or die in bicycle accidents. In Ontario alone, 131 cyclists died in accidents from 2010 to 2015. Almost 50% of those deaths occurred due to collisions with automobiles. With nearly 600,000 people using bicycles on Ontario’s roads every day, safety advocates demand improved infrastructure to guarantee cyclists’ safety.
If you a party in a bicycle accident, ensure you call the police. If you are involved in a collision between a bicycle and a motor vehicle, report the accident by calling 9-1-1. Stay on the scene so you can be available to communicate with authorities and first responders as they arrive. Collect as much information as possible in the accident’s immediate aftermath, including the other party’s insurance, vehicle information, and witnesses’ contact information. Take photos and record videos to capture evidence from the accident scene. Ask for an ambulance if you think you have been severely injured so that paramedics can transport you immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room. Even if you believe that you have not been severely injured, you should still consult your family physician because, initially, injuries that seem minor can exacerbate and impair your quality of life. Your physician’s medical expertise can substantiate your injuries. You may even think about filing a personal injury lawsuit if you have or if someone you know has become severely injured in a bicycle accident. A personal injury claim can result in compensation that can help you cover expenses incurred due to your injuries. These expenses include rehabilitation, medical care, home care and improvements to your home to make it more accessible. You can also use a personal injury claim to handle the loss of quality of life and pain and suffering.
How to Stay Safe on the Road
Following basic and applicable cycling rules can help you avoid becoming involved in bicycle accidents. Ensure to inspect your bicycle before each trip. Your tires should be full, your brakes operative and your chain intact. Any malfunction on a bike can have disastrous consequences. Make sure your bicycle is set up appropriately for the season. Adjust the handlebars and the seat to positions that you find comfortable. Equip your bicycle with a bell to advise motorists, pedestrians and your fellow cyclists that you are approaching. Attach lights and reflectors to your bicycle if you plan to ride it at dusk. To maximize your safety, wear reflective and bright clothing. Above all, always wear a helmet that fits your head. Although wearing one is not mandatory, it is highly recommended that cyclists wear helmets. Wearing one can mean the difference between a minor injury and a life-altering injury. As a cyclist, ride defensively. Even though motorists and cyclists are expected to share the road, cyclists are more likely to suffer injuries than motorists are. Therefore, as a cyclist, you should:
- avoid changing lanes abruptly;
- refrain from weaving into and out of traffic;
- use hand signals when coming to four-way stops and making turns;
- obey all traffic lights and traffic signs;
- ride at a reasonable speed.
Make eye contact with nearby motorists when it is safe to do so that your actions will not come as a surprise to them. Anything can happen on Ottawa’s bustling streets, so always remain alert and aware. As you ride, be sure to glance often at the path in front of you to avoid riding into potholes and over debris, as these too are factors that can cause bicycle accidents.
How McNally Gervan Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help
If you have become or someone you know has become injured in a bicycle accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at McNally Gervan. They can book you a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced team members. We can evaluate your claim’s viability, as well as guide and advise you as you consider the legal options at your disposal. Furthermore, if you decide to file for compensation, we will provide you with impeccable representation. Call us at (613) 238-1424, send us an email or visit our contact information page to submit a consultation request. McNally Gervan: the first step on your road to recovery.