WheelSwap, the awesome VR road cycling experience

At Advantage Ford we are extremely invested in road safety and have ongoing special events in partnership with the Calgary Police Service (CPS).
Our events inform Calgarians and visitors about the importance of road safety while offering tips on how to share and navigate Calgary roads.
On June 11th, 2019 we paired up with CPS, Olympic Gold medalist and Amazing Race competitor, Meaghan Mikkelson, and our partners at Ford Canada to bring in the awesome VR road cycling experience, WheelSwap, to Advantage Ford.

WheelSwap is an immersive 360-degree VR experience that allows riders to see the potential impact on motorists of unsafe cycling or driving.
WheelSwap participants experience what it is like to be on the receiving end of inconsiderate and unsafe behaviours, in a real-time and safe environment.
Our goal for this event was to raise awareness of safe driving and cycling practices, through community engagement.

Did you miss the event?! No problem. We have laid out some tips on how to protect yourself and others on the Calgary roads this summer.

As a Cyclist:

1. Always wear your helmet, it’s the law for those under 18 in Alberta and HIGHLY advised for adults too. The safety helmet must be CSA certified for cycling and securely attached to the strap fastened under your chin. Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and a damaged helmet could be ineffective in the case of an emergency.
2. Cyclists are bound to the rules of the road, just like drivers. They must follow all signage and road signals as if they were a motor vehicle driver.
3. Designated bike lanes are noted by a white diamond and bike symbol in Calgary while cycle tracks and pathways are separated from roadways. During designated hours, bike lanes are specifically for cyclists, while road sharing rules apply for hours that the lanes are not in effect.
4. There’s an app for that! The City of Calgary recently launched an app with the cities’ pathways, cycle tracks, and bikeways. The app contains helpful information and links about paths, closures, safety rules, and events.
5. Cyclists can be fined $287 under the distracted driving legislation. They must abide by the same traffic laws for distracted driving as other motor vehicle operators.

As a Motor Vehicle Driver:

1. Be considerate of cyclists. Avoid sounding your horn, driving too close, and other aggressive driving behaviours. Unexpected noises and movements can startle cyclists which may cause unpredictable and unsafe reactions.
2. When sharing the lane with a cyclist, only pass when it is safe to do so, giving them at least one metre of space between their bicycle and your vehicle. This is the law in at least one Canadian Province and various U.S. states.
3. Be extra cautious of cyclists during times of low visibility such as sunrise, sunset, and hazardous weather conditions such as rain, fog, snowstorms, or smoke. We all know that it can be difficult to see others on the road during these times and low visibility is extremely dangerous for cyclists.
4. Always be sure to shoulder check and look through your rear-view mirror when driving near cyclists. Cyclists are not often driving at the same rate as your motor vehicle and can get lost in blind spots which are dangerous for both the cyclist and motor vehicle operator.
5. Be mindful of opening your doors when parked parallel to roadways. Cyclists are often trying to stay as far to the right as possible and could crash into an open door while watching for moving traffic on their other side.