10 Cycling Safety Tips
Here are our top 10 transportation cycling reminders to help keep yourself & other road users safe
- Prep Your Ride: Keep your brakes and chain in good working order, and your tires well-inflated. Adjust seat height for an efficient and pain-free ride; when seated, your leg should be almost straight, with your foot flat on lower pedal (your local bike shop can help you with bike fitting). Give it a test ride before heading out.
- Make it Legal: Use a bell to communicate with other road users and a back reflector - it's the law in most of Metro Vancouver. Helmets are required by law in BC and in most of Metro Vancouver it is illegal to cycle on the sidewalk.
- Get Visible - Daytime Running Lights: Use lights (white = front, red = rear) and reflective clothing, including those that can be seen from the side. Use a light on your helmet - it points wherever you're looking. During low-light conditions in the fall & winter, keep your lights on during the daytime. Read about the experiment conducted on daytime running lights, from the journal Accident Analysis & Prevention.
- Ride with Care & Be Distraction-Free: Ride in a straight line and try to be predictable in your movements - effective positioning will help you be seen on the road. Don’t use mobile devices or headphones while cycling - stay distraction-free (use just one earbud so you can communicate with other road users).
- Communicate: Always use hand signals when turning, slowing down or stopping; before passing other road users, shoulder check and use your bell, or your voice.
- Respect Road Rules: Bikes are allowed any road, except portions of many highways within Metro Vancouver (unless otherwise signed). Bicycles have similar road rights to motor vehicles, and must also obey traffic signals, signs and right-of-way rules.
- Passing: Unless you are in a painted or separated bike lane, you may only pass another road vehicle on the left.
- Yield to Foot Traffic: Slow down in pedestrian areas, and yield to those on foot; walk your bike on sidewalks.
- Sharing Paths: On mixed use paths, stick to 15km/h or less and respect people on foot. Be aware of your speed and surroundings at all times, and slow down in advance of crossings.
- Know the Road & Plan Your Route: When cycling to a new destination or along a new route, use an updated cycling map to plan before you ride. Determine the best route for your ability and experience.
More HUB Cycling Safety Tips
- Our work with TransLink includes this Be Safe. Be Seen. postcard with tips on fall/winter cycling safety.
- BicycleSafe.com provides information on ten common bicycle collision types, with tips on how to avoid them.
- The UBC Cycling in Cities Research shows evidence for what makes for safer cycling.