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INFRASTRUCTURE: Why College Street is Toronto cyclists’ ‘dooring zone’

Why is College a dooring zone? Because they painted the bikelane right beside parked cars.   Maybe it’s time to (and I’m just brainstorming out of the box here) move the bikelane from right beside the parked cars and put it next to the streetcar tracks, with flex-bollards on each side, making it a protected (from streetcars and cars) bikelane?

Of the 1,308 Toronto cyclists hit by opening car doors between 2005 and 2013, most were hurt but only one was killed: A 57-year-old man biking east on Eglinton Avenue West on a May afternoon in 2008 when a 43-year-old woman opened her car door and sent the man flying into traffic, where he was hit by a truck. He died in hospital.

The woman was charged with “Open Vehicle Door Improperly” – the same charge applied, in theory, to any driver careless or callous or harried or busy enough to open a car door on a cyclist.

Read More: INTERACTIVE: Why College Street is Toronto cyclists’ ‘dooring zone’ – Toronto | Globalnews.ca.

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SAFETY: Your Best Defence

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Guest Post by Ari J. SingerSinger Kwinter Personal Injury Lawyers

Note: Singer Kwinter will be contributing a few posts to BikingToronto in June in honour of Brain Injury Awareness Month.


 

Bike riders are especially vulnerable on the roads; no bike rider is going to win in an accident with a motor vehicle. The best defence is to do whatever is possible to avoid a collision. Some common safety gear includes: a helmet with reflective technology, reflective tape on multiple parts of the bike, a rear light, a front light, and reflective clothing.

One of the things we learn as personal injury lawyers is that despite the best precautions, a person can be involved in an accident through no fault of their own. But that doesn’t mean that precautions shouldn’t be taken! Rather, if the proper safety gear is used, accidents can be avoided and injuries reduced.

Despite the best precautions, accidents do occur. When that happens, a rider might need extensive medical and rehabilitation help. In our system, if a person is involved in an “accident” with a motor vehicle, they are entitled to no-fault benefits. These benefits include income replacement and medical/rehabilitation benefits that are not otherwise covered by OHIP.

An interesting example of an “accident” is where a bike rider swerves or falls down specifically to avoid being hit by a car. Even if the bike was not struck by the vehicle, the rider may still be entitled to benefits. As a result of a complicated regime, anytime a bike rider is injured, they should contact a lawyer to ensure their rights are protected.

For more information on Brain Injury Awareness Month and the Brain Injury Society of Toronto, please click here.

For more information on Statutory Accident Benefits and your rights as a Toronto cyclist, please visit our website or contact Singer Kwinter at 1.866.285.6927.

Photo by syncros on Flickr

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VIDEO: Do you know the ABCD Quick Check?

I’m good friends with Michelle Johnston, a certified CAN-Bike instructor and the founder of Working Well, which aims to create healthy workplace cultures.  She has started a series of Bike Safety How-To Videos on the Working Well YouTube Channel.

She’s back with a 3rd video and blog post on a quick way to do a safety check on your bicycle.

View her other videos too!

 

Check out the blog post here.

 

 

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Cyclists and the Highway Traffic Act: Reducing the risk of accidents

united-drivers-training-car-drivers-traffic-highway-act-book-250-200Guest Post by Nga T. DangSinger Kwinter Personal Injury Lawyers

Note: Singer Kwinter will be contributing a few posts to BikingToronto in June in honour of Brain Injury Awareness Month.


 

During Toronto Bike Month, as well as Brain Injury Awareness Month, it is important to increase awareness regarding laws that cyclists are required to obey.

Accidents between cyclists and motor vehicles typically result in serious injuries and are therefore more likely to result in law suits. In such cases, some fault may be attributed to the cyclist if he or she failed to follow the rules of the road, which can reduce the amount of damages that he or she would otherwise have been entitled to.

To reduce the risk of accidents and avoid being found partially at fault, it is important to keep in mind that cyclists are required to follow the same road laws that motor vehicles are required to follow under the Highway Traffic Act because bicycles are “vehicles” under the Act. Under the Highway Traffic Act, the following are some of the rules cyclists must obey:

  • Stop at stop signs and red lights and obey all other traffic signals;
  • Right-of-way determines who goes through an intersection first;
  • Stop behind street car doors when they open;
  • Stop behind stopped school buses;
  • Pass slower vehicles by riding to the left of it (do not pass on the right side of a right-turning
  • vehicle);
  • Ride in the designated direction on one-way streets;
  • Signal all turns;
  • As the slower vehicle, cyclists should generally ride in the right-hand lane or as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge for the roadway, unless they are turning left or passing other vehicles.

For more information on cycling rules refer to Cycling Skills: Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/pubs/cycling-guide/pdfs/cycling-guide.pdf

For more information about head injuries, check out The Brain Injury Society of Toronto’s “Are You Aware” campaign supporting Brain Injury Awareness Month in Ontario.

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Head Injuries & Cycling Safety

 

Guest Post by Veronica S. Marson, Singer Kwinter Personal Injury Lawyers

Note: Singer Kwinter will be contributing a few posts to BikingToronto in June in honour of Brain Injury Awareness Month.


 

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.

For more information about head injuries, check out The Brain Injury Society of Toronto’s “Are You Aware” campaign supporting Brain Injury Awareness Month in Ontario.

 

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