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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Safety is keystone for Bike Month in Greater Toronto Area

HOW TO KEEP CYCLISTS SAFE AND DRIVERS HAPPY

The authorities at McLeish Orlando provide useful cycling safety tips
 as Bike Month 2012 takes over Toronto for the month of June
 
TORONTO (June 6, 2012) – If motorists believe they’re seeing more bicycles on GTA roadways than ever this spring, their eyes are not deceiving them. As Toronto’s Bike Month 2012 takes to the streets starting June 1st, it’s becoming even more important that four-wheeled vehicles share the roads safely with the two-wheeled variety – and Patrick Brown, Partner at McLeish Orlando LLP and a Director of both Cycle Toronto (formerly the Toronto Cyclists Union) and the Ontario Safety League – knows how safety standards can be improved.

“It’s unfortunate we keep saying that as a critical injury law firm, we really have seen it all – but the truth is I’ve worked with so many individuals and families who have experienced a cycling accident or fatality, that my insights into road safety for cyclists really can protect more people during this June’s Bike Month,” said Patrick Brown. “As an avid cyclist, my personal experience riding to work and on the streets of Toronto has offered me greater understanding as to what motorists and cyclists must do to reduce injuries on the road.”




According to Statistics Canada census data, between 2001 and 2006 the number of people riding a bike to work in Toronto increased by over 30%. And as a result of this past winter’s lack of snow, and Spring’s warm early onset, bikes are out of basements and have been back on the roads for months. What is alarming, however, is that Toronto continues to have the highest number of recorded bike car collisions per capita of any large Canadian city.  At least three reported collisions occur a day. It is estimated eight percent do not get recorded.

“Of course, as with all accidents, carelessness and inattention are primary culprits. However when two tons of steel hits a bike, even minimal contact can cause the cyclist to suffer severe and lifelong injuries.  There needs to be greater respect for the road by all users.  Drivers, like cyclists, simply have to be more focused on basic safety rules and share the road equally with cyclists. There must be mutual respect,” Brown added.

Patrick Brown’s SAFETY TIPS FOR MOTORISTS
1.     Reduce your speed especially in residential and areas with cyclists.
2.     Three Foot Rule.  When passing a cyclist give at least three feet.
3.     Look before you open your door. Doorings are a leading cause of injuries to cyclists.
4.     Be careful when making turns. Use your indicator and check for cyclists in your mirrors before initiating your turn.
5.     Check for cyclists before pulling out onto the road.
6.     Remember cyclists can not hug a curb due to grates, debris and loose dirt/gravel.
7.     City Trucks need to be fitted with side guards, blind spot mirrors and indicator strips.
8.     In areas of streetcar tracks, extra room must be given to cyclists including allowances for wide angle crossings.
9.     Obey traffic signals and the rules of the road. 


 
Patrick Brown’s SAFETY TIPS FOR CYCLISTS

1.     Ensure your bicycle has reflectors and lights for constant night use.
2.     Ensure your bicycle has a bell, horn or similar “noise” device.
3.     Wear bright and reflective clothing in order to stand out day or night. Ensure clothing fits tightly and cannot get tangled in spokes or chain.
4.     Obey traffic signals and the rules of the road.
5.     Use your hand signals for lane changes and turns for both vehicles and cyclists behind.
6.     Avoid the right hook.  When approaching right turning vehicles, avoid passing on the inside.
7.     Use hand signals to identify hazardous road conditions for those cyclists behind you.
8.     Maintain your line and avoid weaving in and out of areas with parked cars.
9.     Follow a safe distance behind other vehicles (use the two second rule when the vehicle in front of you passes an object, begin counting and only move after two seconds).
10.  Always yield to pedestrians.
11.  A bicycle is built for one rider only.
12.  Maintain control of your bicycle, make sure it’s properly sized and in good condition.


ABOUT PATRICK BROWN
Patrick Brown has been practicing for more than 18 years and has dedicated his career to helping those who suffer serious and catastrophic personal injuries as well as those families who have lost a loved one due to the fault of another. He has cases throughout Ontario and is a leader in the area of critical injury law. His areas of practice include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, fatal accidents, drowning cases, cycling fatalities, road repair, malpractice and disability insurance claims. An avid cyclist, Patrick is a Director of both the Ontario Safety League and Cycle Toronto. Patrick is also the organizer for the Helmets on Kids program in Toronto that provides free helmets to children in the city.


ABOUT MCLEISH ORLANDO LLP
McLeish Orlando LLP advocates for those who have been injured in car accidents <http://www.torontocaraccidentinjurylawyers.com/Car-Accidents/> and motor vehicle crashes. The firm is a trusted and recognized source for legal representation and takes a business-oriented approach to resolving clients' legal disputes. Reaching a timely, fair and practical solution for clients is a fundamental priority.


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