It is a bright and sunny evening where the sun’s golden ray is falling on the street near a house in Toronto. You beg your mother to allow you to go cycling, but she insists it is unsafe. When we talk about two-wheelers, we often consider danger and convenience together.
Bikes are one of the most comforting and easy to move around vehicles as bike accidents are very common in Canada. Reports say that more than half of the bikers in Canada have been involved in accidents at least once The numbers exhibit how the roads and other vehicles in Canada have been so dangerous.
A statistical analysis of bike accidents in Canada
Many injury events can occur from bike accidents. Every year the country has recorded many such events.
The Canadian Vital Statistics: Death Database (CVSD) recorded 890 deaths between 2006 and 2017, with, on average, 74 deaths per year. Bike collisions were 73% of the total fatal accident events. Moreover, around 7,500 serious injuries have been recorded between 1994 and 2012. In the year 2014/15 alone, 4,200 bikers were hospitalized from bike accidents. And, the numbers are not decreasing in the present scenario as well.
Another data shows that the ratio of light vehicle driver death to biker death is around 6:1. This suggests that in every 7 road accidents, at least 1 biker dies. It has been concluded that motorcyclists are 13.5 times more in danger of losing their life from a bike accident than other light vehicle drivers.
If we look at gender differences, more men are dying than girls from bike accidents. In addition, at least 1 in every 3 bikers involved in fatal accidents were not wearing helmets, and males dominate here in number. Moreover, Canada has experienced bike accidents among men who are less than 20 or just 20 years old.
Common causes of bike accidents
Drunk driving and riding is the leading cause of many accidents. Bike accidents follow the same pattern. Between 2008 and 2014, about 25% of motorcycle deaths were caused by alcohol consumption in Ontario alone.
Furthermore, alcohol or drug use has been a significant reason for bike accidents during the years 2006 to 2017 in overall Canada. The majority of the cases include young working adults being involved in bike accidents due to alcohol consumption before riding.
Crossing the Speed Limit
The young working adults are always adventurous. While drunk riding is common for them, they cross the speed limit every now and then. As a result, around 12% of motorcycle deaths are caused by high-speed riding.
Low experience level
Although people may be eligible to ride bikes once they are over the age of 18, many people do not have enough prior experience. Canada has been recording bike accidents that involve riders who have only 5 to 6 months of previous experience.
Not using safety gears
Canada believes that bike accident fatalities can be reduced by 37% if bikers start wearing a helmet. Although most Canadians wear helmets, most of their helmets are not enough to keep them safe from accidents. In addition, many bikers had non-functional lightings, rearview mirrors, and problems in brakes that cause bike accidents.
The unique landscape
Although most of the accidents occur in cities, the rural areas are often seen recording such accidents. According to data, half of the accidents happen in urban areas. In addition, Canada’s landscape is a bit different where residents are profoundly reliable for bikes to stroll around. Having said that, some areas do not allow bikers to ride safely, and people still ride bikes there, which has been causing accidents.
Disobeying traffic rules
Many Canadians disobey traffic rules, which cause bike accidents. This is very common in the country. Moreover, bikers often wave hands while turning instead of using the indicators, which is misleading for other drivers on the road.
Dooring is a common problem in Canada. Most drivers do not check before opening their car doors. As a result, bikers collide with them and cause accidents that may result in minor injuries.
Timing and location
Rush hours in cities are dangerous for bikers to ride bikes. Many accidents occur during that time as well.
Best and worst cities in Canada to ride bikes
From the research of different research programs, many cities have been declared safe for riding bikes. The top three cities that are best for biking and cycling are Victoria, Vancouver, and Montreal.
On the contrary, cities like Moncton and St. John’s have been facing unpopularity from bikers to ride bikes. These places are very hilly, which makes riding harsh and dangerous.
Tips for safe bike riding
- Have brief knowledge about the traffic rules and obey them strictly.
- Wear visible helmets and light-reflective clothes for other drivers to notice you clearly.
- Keep your bike in excellent condition with proper functioning lights, reflectors, and mirrors.
- Always keep your eyes ahead so that you can monitor hazards beforehand. Also, observe rearview mirrors often to monitor vehicles coming from behind.
- Avoid overtaking in urban areas as well as in parking areas. Additionally, do not overtake from the right side.
- Finally, avoid any alcohol or drug use before riding. Moreover, do not use headphones and mobile phones while riding.
- Drivers need to check thoroughly before opening their doors.
- Drivers must watch rearview mirrors and side mirrors before turning or opening vehicle doors.
- Give bikers enough room when they are passing you. Some provinces of Canada have passed strict rules for drivers to leave at least one meter distance between the vehicle and bikes.
- Furthermore, stay at least three seconds away from a bike in front of you.
- Signal your indicators at least five seconds before you are turning. Properly scan for bikes and cycles coming from behind.
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Bike riding is safe only when ridden carefully and with complete safety. The majority of the cities in Canada are suitable for riding bikes or cycles. However, bike accidents are still stable, if not on the rise. The authority is always working towards making the country safe to travel using any vehicle.