With fall underway and temperatures starting to dip, many cyclists in both Edmonton and Calgary now find themselves facing the annual commute conundrum: to continue to bike to the office during the winter months or not. With plenty of cyclists choosing to save on fuel and opt for winter biking, it’s more important than ever to ensure that you have the right equipment and know-how on the road. As one of Alberta’s foremost teams of personal injury lawyers, James H. Brown and Associates is happy to give you some top tips to consider when choosing a bicycle as your form of winter commuting.
Below, we’ll cover what you need to know to stay safe, as well as why you should partner with us if you ever do need assistance following an accident. Read on to learn more!
Take Your Time
It’s no secret that Alberta winters can be long and brutal, and for those wishing to use a bike to commute, it’s important to bear this in mind when planning your travel route. Always give yourself extra time, constantly check conditions before leaving, and if there’s a risk of particularly adverse weather, consider taking the bus or driving a vehicle instead. The more time you leave yourself to arrive, the higher your likelihood of doing so safely.
Stay in Tune with Tune Ups
Winter biking requires quite a bit more planning and forethought than commuting during the warmer months, especially when it comes to taking care of your bicycle. Constantly evaluate and maintain your bike, keeping an eye out for salt build-up, investing in bike lamps for evening commutes (remember, the sun goes down much earlier), using the right tires (snow requires a thicker, wider tread), and make sure you address any issues as soon as possible.
Dress for Success
Subzero temperatures can be demanding on any commuter, and when you’re left more exposed to the elements as you are when biking, it’s essential to use the right gear to protect yourself. In addition to your standard helmet for riding, you’ll want to invest in proper gloves, face protection and multiple layers to keep yourself warm. You’ll also want to make sure you factor in visibility and wear clothing/gear that makes you easy to spot by other commuters, especially during dusk or during snowfall.
Use Quieter Streets
One of the best ways to prevent personal injury claims is to practice risk prevention wherever possible. When it comes to winter biking, one of the best ways you can protect yourself is by opting to use less busy side streets or partial residential routes where possible. While this may add a few extra minutes to your ride, it’s important to consider the benefits of being more removed from heavy traffic, especially during such a highly unpredictable and unforgiving season like winter.
Always Be Aware
Finally, even if you’re a highly experienced commuter cyclist, it’s important to remember to stay as alert and engaged as possible when riding, especially during the winter months. Avoid introducing additional distractions like phones or music, and focus on other drivers/riders, road conditions, and signs of inclement weather to avoid some of the most common and life-threatening accident causes on the road!
What Happens if I’m In An Accident?
Cycling in Alberta can be dangerous, and, unfortunately, accidents do happen. If you or someone you love have suffered a life-altering injury or significant impairment as the result of a bicycle collision or accident, James H. Brown and Associates is here to help. With over 250 years of combined injury law experience, James H. Brown and Associates has a proven reputation of standing up for Albertans’ rights after an accident, including bicycle accidents and more. We’re here to make sure you have support when it matters most by offering:
- Complete accident investigation services, including accident reconstruction and long-term impact analysis.
- Strong relationships with organizations ready to assist with rehabilitation and recovery.
- And much more!
If you’re suffering in pain after a bicycle accident, you don’t have to face the road to recovery alone. Contact us today to speak to a lawyer and book a free, no-obligation consultation with James H. Brown and Associates.