If you commute to work by bike in Toronto year-round, it’s important to take proper precautions during different weather conditions. While visibility is important all the time, it’s especially crucial when biking in the winter because it’s likely that you’ll be out on the road before the sun rises and after the sun sets, making you less visible to vehicles. Add snow and ice to the mix and your chances of an accident increase.
The City of Toronto has a whole section of their website devoted to safe cycling in the city. They caution that not every winter day is a cycling day and state that some days it is better to leave your bicycle at home. Riding in the snow is a challenge even for very highly skilled cyclists.
- Use a steady white light in front–the brighter the better – Highway Traffic Act 62 (HTA 62). Use rechargeable batteries since you will need to use your lights almost everyday.
- Use a constant red light in the back–not a flashing light (HTA 62).
- A red rear reflector and front white reflector are a good back-up in case a light goes out.
- Generator lights stop working when the wheels stop so have a back up light.
- Bright colours and reflective gear are recommended for dark and wet weather conditions-both conditions reduce motorist vision.
- Consider adding reflective tape to your jacket. Reflective bands are also widely available for your pant legs and arms, as are reflective vests.
- Reflective tape is required under the HTA (62): white on the front forks and red on the back seat stays.
- Wear cycling glasses with high contrast lenses to increase night vision and carry an anti-fogging spray with you (prescription cycling glasses are also available).
- Stay on bright streets with good street lighting.
As you can see, the Highway Traffic Act requires you to follow some of the tips listed above. Not doing so could not only result in hefty fines, but also serious injury. If you are injured in a cycling accident, contact our cycling accident lawyer.