Motorcycles Vulnerable On Road

By Constable Clinton Stibbe,
Toronto Police Service
Published: 10:31 a.m. May 26, 2014

Motorcycle riders are a vulnerable group on the road and, as the warm weather approaches, more motorcycles use city streets and highways. As a result, all road-users must be aware of their surroundings.

Illustration of motorcycle with a person on it pointed to right
Be aware of motorcycles when driving

According to U.S. studies, motorcycle riders are 30 times more likely to be involved in a collision than other drivers. 

Traffic and pedestrian safety continues to be a priority for the Toronto Police Service. Over the weekend, the Toronto Police Service has responded to numerous personal-injury collisions involving motorcycles.

Some tips for a safe commute are: 

- Reduce speed - keep your vehicle speed at or below the posted speed limits and drive according to weather conditions 

- Safety zone - ensure you keep a "safe zone" around you at all times 

- Leave space - leave at least 5-8 seconds following distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you on highways and 3-5 seconds for city streets. This will help reduce the need for emergency manoeuvres to respond to sudden traffic changes 

- Check twice - check your blind spot, then check it again before making a lane change. Motorcycles are small vehicles and sometimes they are difficult to see 

- Check your mirrors - when slowing or stopped for traffic, check your mirrors for vehicles that may be approaching too quickly or may be unable to stop 

- Escape route - ensure you leave yourself an escape route whether you are driving or stopped for traffic 

- Lights on - have your lights on at all times to enhance your safety 

- Reflective material - motorcycle riders should wear bright colours to help make themselves more visible to other drivers 

- Drive safely - when driving, ensure your movements are smooth and clearly indicated so all drivers know what you intend to do 

- Proper safety equipment - motorcycle riders should wear proper protective equipment such as helmets, gloves, leathers and boots 

- Do not buy a motorcycle that you cannot handle - unfortunately some riders buy motorcycles that are beyond their riding ability. Do not put yourself at risk before you have even ridden your motorcycle 

- Be a defensive driver, not a reactive one - if you drive defensively your chances of being involved in collisions will be reduced 

This year, there has been one motorcycle collision that resulted in a rider fatality and several collisions that resulted in the rider receiving life-threatening injuries. 

Motorcycle fatalities since 2010: 

2013 - 7 

2012 - 6 

2011 - 2 

2010 - 1 

Remember only you can make your drive a safe one. Road safety is everyone's responsibility. 

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