Most people know that motorcycles are considered dangerous, but did you know that’s partly because of everyone else on the road? More than half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle. We spoke to motorcycle insurance specialists from Anthony Clark Insurance Brokerage of Calgary about what tips would make the road a safer place for motorcyclists. They gave us a few tips for both motorcyclists and non-motorcyclists alike.
4 Tips for Motorcyclists
1. After the motorcyclist’s been off the road for the season, test everything out before you take it for a spin. Make sure the lights, brakes and signals work; check the fuel and oil levels; check the position of the mirrors; and make sure the cables aren’t worn down or frayed.
2. The gear you wear as a motorcyclist can be the difference between staying safe and suffering serious injuries. Make sure your helmet fits well and wear glasses or goggles if it doesn’t have a face shield. Get a leather jacket and pants made with Kevlar, non-slip gloves and sturdy boots that come up above your ankles.
3. Don’t tailgate! Far too many motorcycle accidents happen because drivers don’t see motorcycles on the road. If you travel too close to the car or truck in front of you, you may end up in the blind spot. Keep your distance and always use your signals so that the other drivers on the road know what you’re doing.
4. Keep your speed down and don't weave through traffic - be respectful of the other drivers on the road.
4 Tips for Car and Truck Drivers
1. Always be aware that there might be a motorcycle on the road, even if you can’t see it. Motorcycles are small and can therefore easily “hide” in blind spots or they can be out of view because of bridges, fences or bushes in the area.
2. Since motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles, they may look farther away than they actually are. This makes it difficult to judge the motorcycle’s speed. Always assume the motorcyclist is closer than they seem and give it much more space than you would a larger vehicle.
3. When a motorcyclist is coming to a stop, they may downshift or roll off the throttle, which means their brake light won’t come on. When approaching an intersection or a traffic light, assume the motorcyclist will be slowing down, even if you don’t see them brake.
4. In slippery weather, give the motorcyclist even more space - under normal conditions, stopping is about the same for a bike as a car, but in slippery conditions, it can take the motorcycle more time to slow down.