UPDATE – May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, Three Abby Crashes In One Day

Province of BC

Fraser Valley/Victoria – “get your motor running, heading down the highway” – Born To Be Wild – Steppenwolf

The Government of British Columbia has proclaimed May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and asks all drivers to pay special attention when sharing the road with motorcyclists.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month proclamation: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/oic/OIC_CUR/MotorcycleSafetyAwarenessMonth2020

As the weather turns warmer and drier, motorcycle riders are tuning engines, shining chrome and heading out on scenic rides.

It is important for all drivers to be aware of more motorcyclists on the road and to watch carefully, especially at night or in bad weather conditions.

Sadly, in Abbotsford, there were three collisions involving motorcycles Thursday that has the Abbotsford Police Department reminding drivers about road safety when out on our roadways now that the weather is sunny and warm- including those out on two wheels!

On Thursday, May 7, Abbotsford emergency services were called to a collision at Mt Lehman and Fraser Highway.  A 54-year-old person on a motorcycle was involved in a collision involving a vehicle and was taken to hospital facing life threatening injuries.

At 4:41 pm, Abbotsford emergency services were called to a collision in the 4491 block of Gladwin Road.  A 42-year-old motorcycle driver (with a passenger) was driving northbound, passed a group of motorcycles and collided with a vehicle that was making a left-hand turn.  The motorcycle driver and passenger sustained serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. The vehicle driver did not sustain any injuries. 

At 4:57 pm, emergency services were called to McKee Road and McKinley Drive for a collision involving a motorcycle and vehicle.  There were no significant injuries to either drivers.

Here are some safety tips for drivers and motorcycle riders:

Tips for drivers:

  • Give extra space when passing a motorcycle: Allow at least three seconds following distance when you’re behind a motorcycle.
  • Scan intersections: As with other vulnerable road users, most car crashes involving motorcycles happen in intersections. Drivers need to look out for motorcycles – especially when turning left – they can be harder to see, and it can be tough to judge how fast they’re travelling.
  • Leave your phone alone: Stay focused and avoid distractions that take your mind off driving and your eyes off the road.
  • Share the road with motorcycles: If in doubt about who has the right-of-way, yield to the motorcycle.
  • Adhere to the posted speed limits.

Tips for riders:

  • Wear all the gear, all the time: This includes a helmet that meets DOT, Snell or ECE safety standards and safety gear designed for riding. In all weather conditions, wearing proper motorcycle safety gear is key to reducing the severity of injuries in the event of a crash.
  • Be bright and visible: Protect yourself and your passengers from serious injury by choosing gear that has bright colours and reflective materials.
  • Manoeuvre intersections safely: Especially where oncoming traffic is waiting to turn left, adjust your lane position and reduce your speed so you’ll have an escape path or time to stop if you need it. 
  • Do not underestimate the power and speed of your motorcycle. 
  • Share the road with vehicles: Never assume a driver has seen you. They may not accurately judge your distance or speed of approach. As best you can, stay out of drivers’ blind spots.
  • Adhere to the posted speed limits.

To safely share the road with motorcyclists, drivers are asked to allow at least three to four seconds of following distance when behind a motorcycle and give plenty of lane space when passing. Motorcycles are often closer than they seem. Since it can be difficult to tell how fast they are moving, be prepared to yield.

The majority of crashes involving motorcycles happen at intersections. Drivers should scan intersections carefully, especially when turning left. Riders should adjust their lane position and reduce speed when approaching an intersection, so there is time to stop if needed.

Motorcyclists can take steps to better protect themselves. Motorcycle riders and their passengers should wear “all the gear, all the time” in all weather conditions. This includes a helmet with a full-face visor, leather or heavy fabric jacket and heavy, over-the-ankle boots. Wearing proper motorcycle safety gear is key to preventing severe injuries if a crash occurs.

Spring weather can mean more wildlife wandering on or near highways and roads. All drivers and riders are reminded to watch carefully for wildlife, especially when animals are most active from dusk to dawn.

Loud motorcycle exhausts can be disruptive to others, in both urban and rural areas. The Province asks all motorcyclists to enjoy their rides, while respecting regulations around excessive exhaust noise.

Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. Whether driving a motorcycle, a passenger vehicle or commercial truck, or walking or riding a bike, people are asked to respect the rules of the road and consider the safety of other road users.

Province of BC

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