Over the last five years, the City of Toronto has set in place all types of dedicated bicycle lanes throughout the city’s roadways. With more and more people being encouraged to “ride to work”; there has been a very unfortunate increase in the number of car and bicycle accidents.
It is very important for bicyclists to obey the rules of the road. Under the Highway Traffic Act, bicyclists are treated as pedestrians in the sense that they have the right of way. However, being right in law does not help you if you end up in the hospital. In nearly every car and bicycle accident, the car driver blames the bicyclist for doing something dangerous.
Due to many hazards on the road, bicycle lanes are not as safe as they should be. Most accidents happen in intersections when a car drives across the path of a bicyclist. These accidents also occur in areas where there are no bicycle lanes, and along congested roadways. Streetcars can also be a potential danger for bicyclists and can also have deadly consequences.
If an accident happens, it is usually the bicyclist who suffers. When a person is knocked off a bike, run over by a vehicle, or crashed into, it usually results in severe and sometimes catastrophic injuries. It is important for people to always know their rights. There are Statutory Accident Benefits available to help with expenses if a person is injured. In cases where the bicyclist is not at fault, they have the right to sue the driver who caused the accident.