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ICBC warning: Five cyclists injured every day during B.C. summer

May 19, 2015

Cycling safety

As we near Bike to Work Week (May 25 to 31), ICBC is urging drivers to watch out for cyclists as crashes involving cyclists' peak in summer when ridership increases.

In B.C., 670 cyclists are injured and six are killed in car crashes from June to September every year. That's five cyclists injured every day in the summer in B.C.*

Distracted driving and failing to yield the right-of-way are the top contributing factors for drivers involved in crashes with cyclists in B.C.**

Tips for drivers:

  • Actively watch for cyclists on the road. Make eye contact with cyclists whenever possible to let them know you have seen them.

  • Shoulder check for cyclists before turning right and watch for oncoming cyclists before turning left.

  • Before you or a passenger opens a vehicle door, shoulder check for cyclists coming from behind. Before you pull away from the curb, make sure you shoulder check for cyclists.

  • If you need to cross a bike lane to turn right or to pull to the side of the road, signal well in advance and yield to cyclists.

  • If you're entering the roadway from a laneway or parking lot, always scan for cyclists and other road users.

Tips for cyclists:

  • Plan your route before you go, give yourself plenty of time and choose bike lanes and paths where possible. If you're new to cycling, pick routes with less traffic. Google Maps can help you plan your cycling route and municipalities often have great maps of bike routes on their websites.

  • Be aware of what's going on around you at all times and scan ahead for hazards like potholes, gravel, glass and drainage grates. Watch for vehicles entering the roadway from laneways and parking lots.

  • When turning, shoulder check well in advance, hand signal and then, with both hands on the handle bars, shoulder check again before turning.

  • Ride at least one metre away from parked vehicles to avoid being hit by an opening door or a vehicle pulling into your lane from the curb. Use caution if you notice someone in the vehicle.

  • It's illegal to cycle on most sidewalks and in crosswalks. It puts pedestrians in danger and drivers don't expect cyclists to enter the roadway from a sidewalk.

  • When riding at dusk, dawn or at night, your bike must be equipped with a white headlight visible at 150 metres and a rear red light and reflector visible at 100 metres. Consider adding more lights to be even more visible.

Regional statistics:

  • In the Lower Mainland, on average, 450 cyclists are injured and three killed from June through September every year.
  • On Vancouver Island, on average, 120 cyclists are injured and two killed from June through September every year.
  • In the Southern Interior, on average, 70 cyclists are injured and two killed from June through September every year.
  • In the North Central region, on average, 20 cyclists are injured from June through September every year.

Quotes:

"As more cyclists are on our roads during the summer months, both drivers and cyclists need to be aware and watch for each other at all times," said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "We all need to do our part so that B.C. roads are safe for everyone."

"Cyclists are more at risk of serious injuries in car crashes," said Chief Officer Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. "That's why it's the law for cyclists to wear an approved helmet regardless of how far they're travelling. Drivers should check for cyclists especially before turning, opening their vehicle doors or pulling away from the curb."

"In B.C., nearly four out of five car crashes with cyclists happen at intersections," said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC's director responsible for road safety. "These crashes and their devastating impact on our communities are preventable. Whether you're driving or cycling, watch for other road users and do your part to share our roads safely."

*ICBC (injury) and police (fatality) data from 2009 to 2013.

**Top contributing factors assigned to drivers in car crashes in B.C. involving cyclist injury or fatality based on 2009 to 2013 police data.

Note annual cyclist crash data by city/community is also available.

Media contact:
Lindsay Olsen​
604-982-4759