Note: Singer Kwinter will be contributing a few posts to BikingToronto in June in honour of Brain Injury Awareness Month. For the original article, please click here.
“During Toronto Bike Month, it is important to keep in mind some safety issues that arise while cycling in the city.
The per capita collision rate for cyclists in Toronto is one of the highest relative to other large Canadian cities. Cyclists are at a high risk of colliding with motor vehicles and can become seriously injured when they are not wearing helmets.
Cycling is the #1 cause of sports-related head injuries. According to the Brain Injury Society of Toronto, head injuries account for 20-40% of all cycling-related injuries treated in Canadian emergency departments each year. Head injuries also account for approximately 45-100% of cycling-related deaths among Canadian youth and children.
Research has shown that cyclists who ride without a helmet are 3x more likely to die of a head injury than those who do.
In order to minimize your risk of sustaining a head injury while cycling, be sure to follow these simple safety tips:
- Wear a helmet.
- Keep your bike in good condition and inspect it before every ride.
- Wear bright clothing, use lights at night, and be visible to other drivers.
- Be aware of your surroundings and the presence of drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists.
- Ride carefully around parked cars and ensure you are in the field of vision of motorists pulling
- out of parking spaces.
- Follow the rules of the road.
- Make a complete stop at every red light and stop sign.
- Take a cell phone, emergency cash, and ID with you in case of emergency.
- Contact local biking clubs and organizations for additional cycling safety tips and information about cycling in your community.