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Being safe when you drive, ride a bicycle, or walk

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​There are many ways to get from one place to another. But each way brings a risk of injury—to you or someone else. The tips here can help to keep you and others safe when you drive, ride a bicycle, or walk.

Driving

Many people drive a motor vehicle—such as a car, truck, or motorcycle—every day. It may even be part of your job.

Take these important safety precautions every time you drive:

  • Share the road with other people who are driving, riding bicycles, and walking.
  • Be patient, especially with children, older people, or people with small children or strollers. They may need more time to cross the road.
  • Always wear a seat belt and use child safety seats. They save lives and prevent injuries.
  • Remove ice, snow, and dirt from your windows and lights so you can see the road clearly.
  • Always be in complete control when driving, with no drugs or alcohol in your system.
  • Focus only on driving and don’t do anything else. Alberta's distracted driving law​ tells drivers not to do things such as text, read, or use hand-held cell phones while driving.

Riding a bicycle

Riding a bicycle on the road is like driving a vehicle. You have the same responsibilities as a person driving. And you need to take other precautions because bicycles are smaller and harder to see and hear.

Remember these safety tips:

  • Share the road with other people who are driving, riding bicycles, and walking.
  • Wear bright clothing, reflective tape, reflectors, and rear lights so you’re easier to see.
  • Use a headlamp or handlebar lights to light up the road in front of you at night.
  • Wear a proper-fitting helmet. This is the law for people under 18. It also sets a good example for children and could save your life.
  • Use a bell to alert people walking or on bicycles that you’re near.
  • Know the all the rules of the road for riding a bicycle, including how to use bike lanes and how to use hand signals.

Walking

No matter your age, you need to be careful and aware when you go out walking. Some of the most serious injuries to people walking (also called pedestrians) are from motor vehicles.​

Follow these safety tips:

  • Before you cross the street, make eye contact with drivers and wait for cars to stop. Even cars that seem to be slowing down may not stop.
  • Whenever possible, use pedestrian lights at intersections that signal when it’s safe to walk.
  • Always look before​ you step onto the crosswalk or road, even if there are lights. If there are no crossing lights, wait until you’re sure it’s safe to cross.
  • Make sure everyone can see you. At night, wearing items like bright- or light-coloured clothing, reflective strips, or a flashing light can make you more visible.
  • Carry a flashlight or headlamp to light your way.
  • Wear proper-fitting shoes with a good grip. In winter, add ice grips to your shoes and a pick at the end of your poles or cane.
  • If you’re wearing headphones or earbuds, keep your volume low enough to hear what’s going on around you.
  • Be in control when you’re walking. Having drugs or alcohol in your system or talking on your phone can put you at higher risk of getting injured.

Current as of: December 23, 2021

Author: Provincial Injury Prevention Program, Alberta Health Services