Driving and Bicycle Safety Tips

Cycling is a great option when it comes to getting around the city. You don't have to sit in traffic or pay for parking. It perfectly combines physical exercise, being outdoors, and enjoying city views. And not only is it fun, it's better for the environment too!

While you're cycling and taking on the city, it's important to know the basic guidelines when sharing the road with cars and other vehicles. Not only will this keep you riding safely, but it will also help you share the road with confidence.

Safety tips to keep in mind if you’re a cyclist:

  • Ride on the right and/or in the bike lane
  • Ride predictably in a straight line
  • Be distraction-free and do not use your mobile device or headphones while cycling so that you are able to communicate with others on the road easily
  • Communicate by signaling your intentions about changing position or direction
  • Give correct signals
  • Shoulder check
  • Never cycle in a driver's "blind spot" as they won't be able to see you if they decide to turn
  • Wear an approved, properly fitted helmet for safety
  • Wear light-coloured clothing or reflective fabric that glows in the dark for visibility
  • Use bicycle lights
  • Know the road and plan your route

Check out these cycling maps for top cities to help you plan your route with confidence!

Toronto Cycling Map
Vancouver Cycling Map
Montreal Cycling Map
Calgary Cycling Map
Edmonton Cycling Map
Ottawa Cycling Map
Winnipeg Cycling Map
Brampton Cycling Map
Mississauga Cycling Map
Hamilton Cycling Map

As a driver in the city, it's equally important to be aware of cyclists around you and know the fundamentals when sharing the road. These safety tips will help everyone get to their destination safely.

Driving tips for sharing the road with cyclists:

  • Drive cautiously
  • Yield to cyclists
  • Watch out for hand signaling by cyclists who may indicate a right-hand turn by extending their right arm
  • Maintain a safe distance of one metre behind cyclists as they do not have brake lights to indicate when they are slowing down or stopping
  • Try to make eye contact when possible with cyclists
  • To avoid collisions with cyclists at intersections, remember the following:
    • When turning right, signal and check mirrors, including the blind spot to your right, to make sure you do not cut a cyclist off
    • When turning left, stop and wait for oncoming bicycles to pass before turning
    • When driving through an intersection, scan for cyclists waiting to turn left
    • Do not sound your horn unnecessarily. If you feel you must use your horn, tap it quickly and lightly while you are still some distance away from the cyclist so as not to frighten them.

Can I insure my bicycle?

To insure your bicycle, you would need to get home insurance. Bicycle insurance falls under contents insurance, which offers you confidence that your bicycle could be covered in the event of a fire, theft, or accidental damage. It could pay for loss or damage to your bicycle while it's located in your house or temporarily away from your home. For example, if your bicycle was locked up in front of a store and stolen, this would mean it was "temporarily away from your home" and therefore, potentially covered by contents insurance (certain conditions apply). If you accidentally injured someone or damaged their property with your bike, your home coverage could also protect you against liability.

If you have home insurance, bicycles are covered up to a certain limit, but the limit depends on the type of coverage you may have. There are also conditions in your home insurance policy that are unique to bicycles. These conditions must be met, according to your policy, to receive the maximum possible protection against loss for your bicycle.

Keep in mind that home insurance is generally most useful for covering larger losses, and so it's unlikely that you would make a claim for your bicycle alone. This is because the policy deductible would likely exceed the value of your bicycle on its own. You would end up paying out-of-pocket and likely receive little-to-no indemnity.

If the value of your bicycle exceeds your deductible, then it might be worth filing a claim – but that should be weighed against the possible loss of a claims-free discount, which is a discount you could be eligible for by remaining claims-free for 5 years.

You could also add specific and additional insurance for your bicycle, which would give you the benefit of full replacement cost coverage with a lower deductible than your base policy.

We recommend speaking to an advisor to ensure you have the right coverage for your needs.


Legal

Sites Used:

https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/streets-parking-transportation/cycling-in-toronto/safety-and-education/safety-tips/

https://www.ontario.ca/document/official-mto-drivers-handbook/sharing-road-other-road-users#section-1

Relevant Sites:

http://td.mediaroom.com/2019-04-09-TD-Insurance-creates-Advisory-Board-on-Climate-Change