This week is Halifax Cycling Coalition’s Winter Bike Week!
As our city grows more cyclist friendly all the time, you may have noticed more folks are winterizing their bikes rather than storing them away for warmer weather. Despite the addition of bike lanes and milder temperatures, cycling through the colder months means some special considerations are necessary! For David Parker, a Partner with BOYNECLARKE’s Personal Injury Law team, safety is top of mind!
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Ensure that your bike is properly outfitted
If you plan to ride through the slush and snow, you’ll want to make sure that you have wider tires for better traction! Brakes are an important element as well, as your stopping distance may be affected in differing conditions. Make sure you test them out in a safe environment before hitting the road!
Lights, reflectors, and bells are mandatory additions to your bicycle that can alert other people to your presence, especially in winter’s varied conditions! In Nova Scotia, MVA section 174(6) requires a front-facing white light and a rear-facing red light or reflector on the rear of every bicycle, and section 183(5) requires bicycles to be equipped with a bell or horn.
What to wear
This point is two-fold- you want to be visible and protected from the elements! We highly recommend wearing warm, reflective, weather-proof apparel to ensure your safety when you cycle during the winter months. Top off your ensemble with a well-fitted, CSA-approved helmet. MVA section 170A(2) makes it the law to do so, and cyclists who fail to abide are liable to a fine of $147.70, and/or seizure of their bicycle for up to 30 days per section 170(5).
Take it easy!
Of course, varied weather means that your turning and stopping practices may need to happen earlier, and more gently. Ice, slush, and snow also impact your traction regardless of your tires, so cycle with care! Note that cyclists are required to ride in bike lanes where they exist per MVA section 171(3) unless it is impracticable to do so.
Keeping these tips top of mind will aid in your safety as you cycle during our unpredictable Halifax winters!
If an accident occurs
Despite best efforts, sometimes accidents do happen. Following these recommendations will not only reduce the chances of being in a collision, they will also help to avoid a finding of contributory negligence that could otherwise reduce the compensation awarded by a court. If you or someone you know has been injured while cycling connect with David S.R. Parker today to schedule your free consultation. Connect with David at 902-460-3447 or 1-866-339-3400.
We highly recommend checking out the Halifax Cycling Coalition’s website for special Winter Bike Week events, tips, and many other fantastic resources for local cyclists. Find them here!