In most of Canada there are just a few short months for motorcycle riders to enjoy the open road. When the gravel has been cleared and the summer sun glares on the asphalt it is as inviting to bikers as the sirens of the sea, beautiful and exhilarating, but full of hidden dangers.
Over 10% of road fatalities in Canada are motorcyclists.
Considering how few motorcycles there are on the road in comparison to other vehicles, this stat is high, too high. And, like other collision statistics, preventable. A little awareness for riders and other drivers can help us work toward eliminating this statistic altogether.
The lack of protection of an enclosed vehicle significantly decreases safety for a rider, in fact, more than 65% of collisions involving a motorcycles result in death or injury. A few basic precautions can change this.
- Get proper training. While this is especially important for new riders, veteran riders shouldn’t take their experience for granted. If you are returning to a motorbike after a time, a refresher course is a good idea. Increased traffic, faster bikes, and new technology can be tricky to navigate on two wheels if you are not prepared.
- Wear the Gear. This should go without saying, but wear an approved helmet. Riders are 37% less likely to die in a collision when wearing a helmet.Durable long sleeved shirts and pants can save your skin in the event of a fall and wearing a shirt or jacket that is brightly coloured or reflective will make it easier for other drivers to see you on the road.
- Speed Kills. In fatal collisions, close to half of motorcyclists were driving at unsafe speeds. Reacting quickly and with control to other drivers and hazardous situations can be difficult at high speeds. Like any other driver on the road, follow the rules.
As we’ve discussed before road safety is everyone’s responsibility and keeping our two-wheeled friends safe is as much in our hands as it is in theirs.
- Pay attention. I know, I know, we‘ve talked distracted driving to death, but it’s so important! Motorcyclists are smaller and harder to see, so you need to be extra vigilant in these summer months. Work harder to see around your blind spots, shoulder check, and if you are looking at anything other than the road… just don’t!
- Give ‘em some space. Reduce the risk of collisions by simply allowing extra room between your vehicle and the motorbikes ahead of you. Their small size makes it easier for them to stop more quickly than other vehicles.
- Turning left? Use extra care. The most common error that drivers make in collisions with motorcyclist is turning left and crossing their path. Their small size makes their speed deceptive and they are more difficult to see behind larger vehicles, so turn with care.
Small changes to our driving behavior is all it takes to improve road safety and keep summer fun and enjoyable for all. Travel safe!
Need more information? Check out some of our sources and resources:
- SafeRoads.com – Motorcycle Resources
- Transport Canada – Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics
- Canada Safety Council – Safety and the Motorcycle Rider
Have More Questions?
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Working mom, lover of the great outdoors and self-professed know-it-all. Our resident blogger, Allie isn’t the insurance guru she claims to be – but she’s learning and we are happy to help guide her. All the while keeping you in the loop on the “insurancey” stuff you need to know. #AskAllie