ICBC is urging drivers and cyclists to take care as more riders take to the roads with the approach of summer weather.
More than 600 cyclists are injured and four die each year in the Lower Mainland in the peak cycling period of May to October. Across B.C. close to 150 cyclists are injured in each of those months.
ICBC director of road safety John Dickinson said cyclists and drivers both need to try harder to be aware of each other on the road.
“As a cyclist, I never assume drivers can see me and use multiple lights on the front and rear of my bike,” he said. “When I’m driving, I give cyclists plenty of room so they’re able to react to the unexpected – such as a car door suddenly opening into their path.”
ICBC has updated its online crash maps, which include the interactive map (see above or view on ICBC site) showing where the largest numbers of accidents involving cyclists happen in each neighbourhood.
According to ICBC stats for 2012, the top spot for crashes involving cyclists in Metro Vancouver is the south end of the Burrard Street bridge, followed by other busy intersections in east Vancouver or downtown along Burrard Street.
Outside of Vancouver, frequent cyclist crash locations include Garden City Road and Granville in Richmond, Central Boulevard and Imperial Street in Burnaby, East Esplanade and St. Georges in North Vancouver, 200 Street and 80 Avenue in Langley, 112 Street and 80 Avenue in Delta, and 130 Street at 72 Avenue in Surrey.
The urge to bike gets a push each year with Bike To Work Week promotions May 27 to June 2 (see biketowork.ca for details.)
ICBC urges cyclists to ensure their bike is well-maintained and get a tune-up if needed.
Bike helmet use is required by law and prevents up to 85 per cent of serious injuries.
Riders are urged to position themselves where other drivers can easily see them – don’t weave in and out of traffic or ride in cars’ blind spots. Always shoulder check and hand signal well in advance of any turn.
Drivers are reminded they must yield to cyclists the same as other vehicles, should keep back should maintain at least three seconds of following distance. Cars are not to drive, stop or park in bike lanes, and should signal before carefully crossing them.