Bicycle accidents are a leading cause of personal injury claims in British Columbia. Even when dressed appropriately and wearing a helmet, as required by law, a cyclist that is involved in an accident with a motor vehicle can sustain serious injuries because he or she is completely exposed. Motorists must take certain precautions when sharing the road with cyclists as their vehicles are much larger and their speed leaves cyclists vulnerable to collisions, accidents, and injuries. If a motorist injures a cyclist, the cyclist is entitled to compensation for their injuries and losses.
It is important that drivers take steps to adjust their driving habits in the presence of cyclists. This includes reducing the vehicle’s speed if a danger to the cyclist presents itself, as well as being aware of the location of the cyclist when parking and exiting the vehicle.
In accordance with the law of British Columbia and the Motor Vehicle Act, cyclists have legal rights and obligations similar to the drivers of motor vehicles. The Act specifies legal responsibilities regarding the proper use of safety equipment, such as wearing safety helmets, and the rules of the road. It is illegal to ride bicycles on sidewalks. On the road, cyclists must stay as far right as possible. Unless specifically permitted, cyclists must dismount at crosswalks. Cyclists who obey the rules of the road are better positioned to make claims for compensation following a bycicle accident. Cyclists who do not follow the rules risk a reduction in compensation for contributory negligence.