Motorcyclists and drivers need to share the road

Spotlight Staff
Motorists are advised to be aware of motorcyclists on the roads as the weataher warms up.

Motorcyclists are vulnerable road users, with more than two-thirds of collisions involving a motorcycle resulting in death or injury, compared with about one in 10 for all collisions, states a news release from the provincial government dated May 4.

“Motorcycles are smaller and sometimes less stable than other vehicles, despite their high-performance capabilities, which means they can appear where drivers do not expect them,” Transportation Minister Brian Mason says.
“Drivers need to be cautious when travelling near motorcycles, while motorcyclists should ride defensively and be aware of other road users nearby.”

Another safety agency echoes that.

“Ride to be seen,” says Mark Dobbelsteyn, program director for traffic safety for the Alberta Safety Council.
“Don’t dart in and out of traffic as drivers may lose sight of you in their mirrors.”

Motorcycles have the same rights on the road as larger vehicles.

Drivers should allow motorcycles enough space to travel in the lane and always check blind spots before changing lanes.

Motorcycle safety facts:
-Between 2010 and 2014, 3,323 motorcycles were involved in casualty collisions, with 153 deaths and 3,440 injuries.
-When motorcycles crash, their riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, so they are more likely to be injured or killed.
-In Alberta, motorcyclists are legally required to wear a helmet.

Head injury is a leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes.
A rider with a helmet is 37 per cent less likely to incur a fatal injury in a crash than a rider without a helmet.
-Replace a helmet that has been damaged and avoid buying a used one.

A used helmet may have been involved in a crash and could be damaged in ways that are not obvious.
-Wearing comfortable and weather-appropriate gear provides the best comfort and allows riders to stay alert and maintain their ability to react.
-Motorcycles equipaped with an Antilock Braking System (ABS) help reduce fatalities and reduce stopping distances on wet and dry surfaces.
-Motorcycles demand a high degree of skill. Proper training and preparation are essential to a safe trip.
-Riding a motorcycle requires balance, vision, reflexes and judgment—all of which are adversely affected by alcohol and drugs.

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