With crashes involving cyclists peaking during the summer, ICBC is urging drivers and cyclists to take extra care on our roads.
As ridership increases in the summer, so does the number of cyclist-related crashes. In B.C., 740 cyclists are injured and seven are killed in car crashes from June to September every year. That means six cyclists are injured every day during the summer months in B.C. (This is based on a five-year average using 2011 to 2015 police fatality and ICBC injury data.) On Vancouver Island, on average, 310 cyclists are injured and three killed every year.
Tips for drivers:
- Don’t get distracted. Watch for cyclists on the road and make eye contact if you can, so they can anticipate your next move.
- Yield the right-of-way. Yield to cyclists and signal well in advance if you need to cross a designated bike lane or pull over to the side of the road.
- Look out. Shoulder check for cyclists before turning right and watch for oncoming cyclists before turning left. Scan for cyclists before you enter the roadway from an alley or get in and out of a parking spot.
- Dooring is dangerous. Both drivers and passengers must shoulder check for cyclists before opening doors. Not only will it keep cyclists safe, it will help you avoid a dooring violation and fine too.
- Keep a safe distance. Maintain at least three seconds behind cyclists and at least one metre when passing a cyclist. Don’t risk side-swiping or running a cyclist off the road.
Tips for cyclists:
- Start at the top. Wearing an approved bicycle helmet that meets safety standards is the law in B.C. and you could be fined for not wearing one. Focus on how it fits: it should be snug, but not uncomfortable, and should not be able to roll off of your head when the chin strap is secured.
- Reflect on safety. Be extra visible with reflective gear on your bicycle pedals and wheels.
- Bike lanes are best. Use designated bike routes whenever possible – they’re safer and reduce conflicts with vehicle traffic. Check your local municipality’s website for designated bike routes or visit TransLink.ca for maps of cycling routes in Metro Vancouver.
- Stay off the sidewalk. If there’s no bike lane, keep to the right-hand side of the road as much as it’s safe to do so. It’s illegal to ride on most sidewalks and crosswalks. It puts pedestrians in danger and drivers don’t expect cyclists to enter the roadway from a sidewalk.
- Follow the rules of the road. Make sure you obey all traffic signs and signals and rules of the road.
- Use caution around parked vehicles. Be aware of people in vehicles as well as taxis to avoid getting hit by an opening door. It’s best to keep at least once metre away from parked vehicles.
- Shoulder check. Before making any turns, shoulder check and hand signal in advance. Remember, drivers sometimes fail to yield right-of-way.
For more information about cycling, and videos about these tips visit our cycling safety page on icbc.com.
ICBC has been investing in road safety education since 1976 and providing community grants since 2008. Our Community Grants Program supports community organizations with their road safety and injury recovery initiatives.