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April showers bring May flowers – and more road users (what you should know)

Kevin Henderson, Partner at Oatley Vigmond LLP, stresses the significance of road safety during spring and summer when there's an increase in pedestrians and cyclists.

With winter slowly melting away for yet another year, spring is upon us. Days are getting longer, and the weather is getting warmer. It is a truly great time of year, where people finally come out from their annual hibernation and enjoy their communities. 

Unfortunately, spring can be a dangerous time for users of the roadway. Pedestrians and cyclists are on the roads during the spring and summer months. These roads users lack the size and protection offered to other vehicles, and need to be treated with care. This is particularly true as children spend more time outside in the spring and summer months, and may be completely unfamiliar with the rules of the road.  

When cycling or as a pedestrian, consider these safety tips: 

  • Never assume that a motorist can see you; 

  • If crossing the street at a 4 way stop, make eye contact with the drivers to ensure they are paying attention; 

  • Keep pets and children close; 

  • Obey all traffic signs and signals; 

  • Be predictable in your movements; and 

  • While cycling, wear all appropriate safety gear, and ensure your bicycle is equipped with high visibility reflectors. 

If you are a motorist, it is important to pay extra attention to other users of the roadway during the spring and summer months. If you collide with a pedestrian or cyclist, it is almost certain that they will sustain serious injuries. In the event that happens, you might find yourself subject to a lawsuit by the injured party. 


When it comes to civil liability, the deck is stacked against motorists involved in collisions with pedestrians or cyclists. The Highway Traffic Act dictates that a motorist involved in a collision with a pedestrian or cyclist needs to prove that they were not at fault for the collision. Ontario courts have interpreted this in favour of injured parties in all but the most unavoidable cases (such as a pedestrian darting into traffic without notice). Even where a pedestrian is jaywalking, or a cyclist breaks the rules of the road, a motorist is likely to be found liable for their injuries. 

While road safety is everyone’s responsibility, motorists are most likely to be found legally responsible. It is important to ensure that you take every precaution possible to keep more vulnerable road users safe.  

Oatley Vigmond represents injured individuals in their claims against insurance companies. Oatley Vigmond can be reached at (705) 726-9021 or 1-888-662-2481.