Bike Safety

Helmet Safety

In Ontario anyone under the age of 18 has to wear an approved bike helmet while biking but it is recommended for everyone to wear one while biking. If riding with small children in a child carrier or a bicycle trailer they are also required to wear an approved bicycle helmet.

Cyclists who ride without helmets are 8 times more likely to have brain injury when in a crash compared to people that wear helmets.

Make sure:

  • Your helmet is certified (Snell, CSA, ANSI, ASTM, BSI, SAA, CPSC);
  • It fits properly; and
  • You replace a damaged or an old helmet as foam degrades over time.

To make sure your helmet fits properly use the "2-4-1 salute."

The "2-4-1 salute" means:

  • The front edge of your helmet is 2 fingers above your eyebrows;
  • Helmet straps should be flat against the face and meet just below the ear making a "V" shape around your ear lobe.; and
  • Chin strap should be snug and allow only 1 finger to fit between your chin and the strap.

"2-4-1" salute for helmet safety


Source: Young Cyclist Guide

Visit ThinkFirst for more information on helmet safety.

Road Safety

When biking, rollerblading, and skateboarding on the road:

  • Follow rules of the road;Biker riding on road and pedestrian on sidewalk
  • Slower traffic stays right;
  • Slower traffic must give way to faster traffic when safe and practical;
  • Ride in the same direction as automobile traffic;
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals;
  • Use hand signals;
  • Follow lane markings;
  • Don't weave between parked cars;
  • Avoid road hazards;
  • Be ready to brake; and
  • Stay alert.

When riding a bike on shared paths and trails cyclist should:

  • Ride at slow speed;
  • Use your bell or horn to signal when your approaching pedestrians from behind;
  • Be ready to stop and allow pedestrians to cross;
  • Stop before intersecting roadways and look for cars; and
  • Watch for cars entering or exiting from driveways.

Make sure to be:

  • Safe

    • Stay close to curb but watch for uneven pavement and debris
    • One person per bike
    • Ride single file
    • Ride on right side of road, with traffic
  • Alert

    • Scan ahead to see what's coming
  • Wary

    • Be aware of vehicles, pedestrian and other road users
  • Seen

    • Use your horn, hand signals and lights, so other road users can see you
    • Bike during daylight hours, as you are almost invisible to motorists during dusk, dawn, night and bad weather.

Visit Ontario's guide to safe cycling to see the rules of the road, and the laws of cycling.

Reporting a Crash

Whenever you see or are in a crash, report it. If there is an emergency call 911, otherwise just call the non-emergency phone number in your location.