For certain cyclists, riding a bicycle represents a hobby; for others, it is their primary means of transportation. It is important for all riders to use their bicycle in a considerate way and follow the rules of the road. In Montréal, the assessment of incidents between road vehicles and cyclists reveals that there are nearly 650 collisions annually.
With these statistics in mind here are tips to keep you secure on the roads.
- Try to establish visual contact with approaching motorists, especially when they are turning or leaving driveways.
- Signal your intentions to the other road users, especially to motorists.
- Remain alert at all times.
- Watch for vehicle doors being opened.
- Maintain a straight line when you ride, and avoid riding between stationary vehicles.
- Wear reflective clothing and equip your bicycle with reflectors as well as the obligatory lights for evening and night riding. Reflectors are not enough to insure good visibility. You also need to use active lights: a white light in the front and a red light in the back.
- Wear a bicycle helmet and make sure it fits properly.
- Pay particular attention to the maintenance of your bicycle, especially its brakes.
For greater safety, equip your bicycle with the following accessories:
- A small bell. It can prove very useful to warn others of your presence.
- A rear-view mirror. It allows you to see the vehicles behind you without having to turn your head.
- A bag rack. You can ride without holding anything in your hands and free of a heavy backpack, which could cause you to lose your balance.
For more cycling safety tips:
Let’s All Share the Road… Safely
What to do in an accident
Quebec's auto-insurance plan protects all road users. All Quebec citizens are covered for any injuries arising from an automobile accident anywhere in the world, whether or not they are responsible for it.
To be compensated by the SAAQ, the accident must involve at least one motor vehicle. For a collision between two cyclists, or between a cyclist and a pedestrian, it is the Québec health insurance plan that covers the costs. In the event of injury, here is how to proceed:
- Call the police immediately from the location of the collision in order to produce an accident report.
- Consult a doctor without delay; list any symptoms relating to the accident on the medical report, and make sure that the doctor sends the report to the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).
- Send a claim to the SAAQ as soon as possible.
- Warn your own private insurer if the collision caused material damage.
For further information, please visit SAAQ website at http://www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca.