With warmer weather on its way, seasonal vehicles are starting to take to the streets and highways, especially in the Lakeland Region. This May, the Alberta RCMP is focusing on motorcycle safety, ensuring motorists are implementing safe riding practices when hitting the open road.
The Alberta RCMP asks motorcyclists to remember the following before getting on their bikes:
Get on your gear: Both riders and passengers must wear helmets that meet minimum safety requirements and show the date of manufacture. Wearing motorcycle gear, including a proper coat, pants, boots that cover the ankles, gloves, and shatter-proof eyewear, will improve safety and lessen injuries if in a collision.
Know your size: Being small, it is important for motorcycles to stay in sight of larger vehicles and avoid blind spots. The most common collision with a motorcycle is a vehicle turning left into the motorcycle’s path. “I didn’t even see the bike” is a common statement from drivers.
No weaving or speeding: Speeding in and out of traffic on a motorcycle is an illegal and dangerous driving behaviour. It can cause other road users to become startled, which may lead to them making sudden, unexpected maneuvers. Safe motorcycle handling, and sharing the road responsibly, ensures control and reduces the risk of collision.
Stick to your skill level: A motorcycle is a high performance vehicle – just because your bike can do it, doesn’t mean your bike should do it. Slow down on unfamiliar roadways and do not feel that you have to keep up to other, more experienced riders.
Check your ride: Before you get on your bike, do a pre-ride check. Look at your fluids, tires, lights/signals, chains, and overall condition of the motorcycle. Refer to the Alberta Transportation Rider’s Guide for a checklist.
Drivers of regular motor vehicles also have a role to play in motorcycle safety. To prevent collisions, it is important that drivers provide motorcyclists with a safe following distance and always double check for them in their blind spots or when pulling out onto highways.
“In practicing safe driving behaviours, motorists can prevent serious injury and harm to themselves and those they share the road with,” says Supt. Gary Graham, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services. “In 2020, there were a total of 243 injury collisions involving motorcycles in Alberta RCMP jurisdictions, and another 17 collisions resulting in 18 fatalities. Safety should be a motorist’s first priority every time they get on a bike and ride.”