It’s spring! Okay, well the calendar says it’s spring. Spring brings warmer winds, waiting yard work and motorcycles on our roadways. My husband has been talking about getting his baby (’08 HD Super Dyna Glide) out and washing it for months. I’m glad he has a hobby he loves but I am always concerned about his safety when he’s riding. Don’t get me wrong he’s a great driver with over 35 years of experience, it’s all those car drivers that concern me. This is the reason I wanted to provide four motorcycle and car safety tips this year.
Motorcycles and cars are not the same so motorcycle safety is our obligation as a car drivers. When compared to driving a car, Canadian motorcyclists are 13.5 times more likely to be involved in a crash with a car and die as a result. Thank goodness he just goes out for a relaxing ride but if motorcycles are speeding their fatality rate is 12% higher. Those rates are even worse for the young inexperienced and immortal youth. Motorcyclists between the ages of 16-24 and speeding experience an 80 % deaths rate..
Enough of all these grim statistics. Let’s look at ways that we car drivers can safely co-exist with motorcycles. These driving tips are simple defensive driving skills but it never hurts to review them. Consider it a spring tune-up!
- Always check your blind spots. If your car is older and not equipped with this technology remember to do a full shoulder check. Be especially careful at intersections where most motorcycles accidents happen.
- Keep your headlight beams on low. Again, good advice to use low beams when approaching or coming up behind any vehicle on the road at night.
- Keep proper spacing when driving behind a bike. Tailgating is a dangerous habit anytime but specifically behind bikes. Motorcycles don’t take as much time as a cars requires to stop.
- Use your indicators. I’m amazed how many people do not use them or wait until turning to activate them. Let other drivers know what your intentions are.
Looking for more defensive driving advice, just use this link for tips.
Here are three facts I’d bet you didn’t know!
- In Canada there are 708, 700 people participating is casual riding.
- The motorcycle industry directly employs over 17,500 Canadians
- Motorcyclists contribute over $330 million to the Canadian economy
- Casual motorcyclists raised and donated over $13 million annually (2014)
Remember to be considerate to motorcyclists because well, my best friend is out there riding. Then again so could your grandmother or neighbour. Let’s take care of everyone and share the roadways safely.