Fraser Valley/Victoria (Josh Olund BCIT Radio A&E) – This month is Motorcycle Awareness Month – the time of the year when we everyone to watch for motorcyclists who are out more than ever because of the nice weather. But did you know that there’s another risk for motorcyclists because of it?
That’s unexpected encounters with roadside wildlife. There are many species (big and small) of wildlife in BC and they are a real hazard for motorcyclists and, to reduce the risk often countering how big some of these creatures are, here’s a list of helpful tips to keep you, your motorcycle and wildlife safe on BC highways.
1.Watch for wildlife crossing signs.These signs areplaced at locations where there isactive wildlife that will cross highways.
2.Obey speed limits.The faster you’re going, the longer it takes to stop.
3.Make sure your headlights and windscreens are clean,especially at night. Use your high beams as well, but only when it’s safe to do so.
4.Make sure your tires and brakes are in good shape and working properly.
5.Don’t ride under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other substances, or if you are tired or if you have any other sort of vision problems.
6.Watch for groups of wild animals.If a deer runs in front of you, there’s a chance others are nearby. Slow down and keep a lookout for more that may cross the highway.
7.Stay in the centre lane, if possible.On a multi-lane road, the centre lane is your safest bet for avoiding a collision with a wild animal. This position gives you plenty of space,and if there’s a case where your motorcycle startles a wild animal, it gives you extra time to react if it darts onto the highway. If you need to move out of the way for faster traffic,let them pass and then return to the centre lane.
8.Stay the course.If you spot a wild animal, brake firmly and calmly and stay in your lane.Swerving could cause you to lose control of your vehicle and turn a bad situation into something much worse.
9.Use extra caution when riding your motorcycle at dawn and dusk in areas where wildlife may be present,as these times are when wildlife is most active.
10.If you ride at night, watch for the reflections of animal eyes.Animal eyes will have a brighter reflect off a motorcycle, making them easier to spot.