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.
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.