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Ways to prevent biking accidents for drivers and cyclists

To decrease the chance that you will be hit when riding your bike, it's important to follow these safety tips. Statistics show that around 14,135 people were killed between 2000 and 2004 in traffic accidents, and 263 were riding bicycles. Times have changed since then, but by 2007, 65 cyclists were still killed on the roads.

Things may be improving as far as safety goes for cyclists, but you can always take safety into your own hands. For instance, wearing a helmet may prevent you from hitting your head on something that causes you to have a brain injury, even if you are knocked off your bike. You should always use a light on the front and back of your bike when it's dawn, dusk or dark outside.

While riding, wear bright or reflective clothing so you stand out to drivers. Double check intersections before you cross, and make sure to obey the rules of the road.

Doing your part to ride safer is important, but drivers have to be safer, too. They should slow down near intersections, not speed through them. They shouldn't be distracted by texts or people in the vehicle. Drivers who get behind the wheel while intoxicated can be deadly, and those who drink and drive need to be held accountable for those actions.

If you get hit while riding your bike and the driver is at fault, you can seek compensation from the British Columbia courts. Abiding by the traffic laws keeps you from being cited if there is a collision with a driver.

Source: CBC News, "Increasing your odds of avoiding bike injuries," accessed Jan. 15, 2016

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