Did you know that May is Motorcycle Awareness Month? Reading some of the headlines around the province and across the country, though, you might not think that was the case. The month has tragically been marked by a number of deadly accidents.
Warmer, sunnier weather brings out the bikers and that means we all need to learn to share the road. Whether you’re cruising on two wheels, four, or even more, we all have to be biker-aware.
According to the provincial government, drivers failing to yield the right-of-way to bikers is one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents in British Columbia. What can you do to be more biker-aware? Here are a few simple tips that can make our roads a safer place for all:
- Treat motorcycles as you would any other vehicle, giving them adequate space to respond to road and weather conditions
- Be mindful of your blind spots, checking frequently to make sure no bikers are present when switching lanes
- Always use your signals
- Take extra caution when pulling out on to the road
- Give ample room for motorcycles merging on to highways
Because motorcycles are smaller than cars and trucks, drivers have a tendency to misjudge their speed or fail to notice them behind another vehicle or a hidden corner.
Better Biker Behaviours
If you’re taking to the roads this summer on a motorcycle, here are a few tips to make the ride a safe one:
- Always dress for safety – be seen and be protected
- Wear an approved helmet and garments made of leather or Kevlar
- Avoid the middle of the lane and have an exit strategy for traffic slowdowns
- Stay in open spaces and avoid getting into drivers blind spots
- Use your signals – always
- Take extra caution when merging or approaching ramps
For more information
- Motorcycle Safety in BC, Government of BC
- Recent accidents drive home the need for B.C. motorcycle safety awareness, Vancouver Sun
- BC mountain biker Steve Smith dies following motorcycle accident, Vancouver Sun
- Motorcycle safety expert Alain Boutin and wife stood ‘no chance,’ witness says, CBC Montréal