Not all intersections equal for cyclists

If you’re a cyclist, there are some local intersections that deserve a little extra pedaling precaution.

Between 2005 and 2009, there were 291 crashes involving cyclists in Richmond, according to statistics provided by the Insurance Corporation of B.C. And in those crashes, there were were a total of 306 injuries, including two fatalities.

In that five-year span, the most dangerous intersection was at No. 2 Road and Westminster Highway, near the foot of the No. 2 Road bridge near the Richmond Olympic Oval. It registered nine crashes.

In second place was the intersection of Gilbert and Granville Avenue, with eight crashes.

Tied for third were three intersections:

• Blundell and Garden City roads;

• Granville Avenue and Minoru Boulevard;

• Garden City Road and Westminster Highway.

So what’s a cyclist to do to avoid being victimized?

ICBC advises that cyclists follow a few simple steps.

Cyclists need to lighten and brighten up, especially during the dark days of winter. Bicycles can be hard for other road users to spot in the mix of busy traffic, and during gloomy rainy weather. Bright reflective clothing is the best advice for riders, while bicycles must be equipped with lights visible at night from 150 metres. A rear red light and reflector are also must-haves.

Cyclists are also required by law to wear helmets. They can prevent up to 85 per cent of serious injuries.

When cycling out of an intersection, driveway or lane, cyclists should remember to stop and look in all directions. The majority of all children’s cycling crashes, according to ICBC, are caused by a child riding out onto a roadway without looking.

Cyclists should also ride defensively by thinking and looking well ahead. When a bicycle and motor vehicle collide, it’s usually the cyclists that’s worse off.

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