i know others have come up with their own, but i just started writing this this morning and this is what i came up with. i'm posting in this forum so that a wider range of people will read it.
Eleven ways to make cycling safer:
1. Ride your bike! The more people see other people biking the more likely they will think about biking too. This works even better if you smile lots, especially when it’s raining.
2. Talk about cycling. Talk to your friends, co-workers, fellow commuters, local and international communities. Words inspire actions.
3. Read. Use whatever resources you can find to get tips and information. This includes the Criminal Code and Highway Traffic Law.
4. Communicate. Use hand signals as much as possible. Talk to drivers that have put you at risk, or thank ones that actually share the road properly! The law requires a bell, but it blends into the background noise of the city and can easily be ignored. Using your voice can be easier, more effective, and certainly more satisfying.
5. Ride safer. Ok so we all know that we cut corners (and lights) sometimes. But is it worth it? An extra 30 seconds may not only save your life, but if you’re “piggy-backing” with a line of cars for a while, they may be more likely to give you some room if they see that you are following the same rules. I know that I’m perceived as a “hardcore” cyclist, and that there are a lot of drivers with a hate-on for us, and that can be a recipe for disaster.
6. Teach others. Share your knowledge about dressing for winter conditions. Help a “noob” fixing his first flat. Tell children what the different parts of the bike are called.
7. Get political. Different levels of governments are responsible for changes to law and city planning. How many bike facilities are located on your street, in your neighbourhood, between local cities? Have you ever been hit by a car and actually reported it to police? Did you write that article you were thinking about in response to an ill-informed editorial? Do you think about the fact that you don’t need gas to ride a bike, but that new frame you bought was shipped here from the other side of the world?
8. Be visible. You don’t want to allow a driver the excuse that they “didn’t see you”. This doesn’t mean you can forget about paying attention, but every light and piece of reflective material makes a bit of a difference!
9. Expect the unexpected. Ride as though something is going to fall out of the sky, because everything and anything up and to that can, and likely will happen.
10. Watch out. Watch that line of parked cars for the driver’s head; anyone in the car may open the door. Better yet, stay out of the “door zone” altogether. Watch for pedestrians jay-walking between stopped cars or heading for the curb. Watch out when approaching intersections that you know are hazardous. Watch the road or trail ahead, scanning for dangerous surfaces, debris, wildlife, playing children, un-bike-friendly sewer grates and so on.
11. Be prepared. When going out on your bike think about what you might need. A tool kit/pump, lights and safety gear is a good start. Other things to add (in no particular order) are: a cell-phone, water, ID, money/bank card, quick-energy snacks, a first aid kit, extra layers, dark and clear lenses, a handkerchief, and the list could go on. Oh and don’t forget your house (and lock) keys!