Motorcycle fatalities are on the rise in Ontario. In 2014, there were 32 motorcycle deaths according to the OPP – which was a nine-year high for the province. As of mid-August of this year, there have been 25 motorcycle fatalities in Ontario. Four of those deaths all happened in the first week of August alone.
The OPP are asking motorcycle riders to assume that they are invisible to other vehicles and drive defensively to keep themselves safe. Motorcycle safety articles are most often directed towards motorcycle riders. However, riders are generally quite diligent and alert to the dangers of the road. Riders are forced to be safe drivers by necessity of their limited protection and vulnerability.
Drivers of larger vehicles are quite often at fault for motorcycle accidents. Many drivers are unaware of how their bad behaviour on the roadways can have serious and fatal consequences for motorcycle riders.The following list of motorcycle safety tips is therefore directed towards drivers of other vehicles:
Check your blind spots before changing lanes. Motorcycles can disappear into blind spots more easily than larger vehicles. Always check your surroundings, and then double check, before changing lanes.
Do not tailgate. This goes for any vehicles, but especially for motorcycles. They have different stopping mechanisms than a car and may need more space, so do not following too closely behind them.
Do not cut off motorcycles. Because motorcycles are smaller vehicles, they make look farther away than they actually are. Make sure there is ample room between you and the motorcycle before you change lanes.
Put down your cellphone. Despite all the warnings, fines, and increased risk of damage, people continue to talk and text on their phones while driving. All of your focus should be on the road and the vehicles around you, especially when travelling on the highway. Your surroundings change much faster at higher speeds, and a motorcycle you hadn’t noticed can enter your blind spot in the few seconds it takes you to at your phone.
Give yourself extra time to get to your destination. We all know how easy it is to get impatient or frustrated when driving in southern Ontario traffic. Allowing more time to get where you are going will make you less likely to make an error on the roadway. Even a small error on your part can result in a huge impact in the life of a motorcycle rider.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident and would like to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact Tim Leigh-Bell