Thursday May 26, 2011
BC RCMP have some useful tips for riders
Released by BC RCMP/Voice file photo
otorcycle riders and passengers are much more vulnerable than the occupants of other motor vehicles. Motorcycles account for about 3.5% of insured vehicles in British Columbia, but 11% of all fatal collisions in BC. Keeping in mind that back in 1996, 5% of deadly crashes involved motorcycles.
Although riders aged 16 to 25 are most likely to be seriously injured or killed in a crash, rate of serious injuries or deaths for older riders is on the rise. As technologies advance, new motorcycles are more powerful and faster. These high powered motorcycles may perform at a level beyond the capabilities of recreational riders who ride only several times a year.
Some of the common causes of motorcycle crashes are
When a car turns left in front of an oncoming motorcycle. Common cause: the car driver does not see the motorcycle.
Single vehicle motorcycle crashes typically occur at curves in the road. Common cause: The motorcyclist enters the curve too quickly for their level of experience.
Before you get on a motorcycle, whether you are a new rider or one hasn’t ridden in a while, get professional rider training.
Professional training will teach you: Motorcycle handling, emergency braking, collision avoidance, lane position, and other skills.
Wear the right gear – good ridding gear provides you with two specific benefits: comfort and protection. Wearing the right gear can be the difference between bumps and bruises or serious injuries if you are involved in a collision
Always wear a DOT approved helmet. Wearing a proper helmet can increase your chance of surviving a crash and reduce the risk of serious head injuries. Novelty beanie helmets are just that, novelties. They provide NO protection and should never be worn in lieu of an approved helmet.
Riding a motorcycle requires more attention, awareness, concentration and more skill than operating any other type of vehicle. Stay focused – Keep your attention on what lies ahead, not on what just happened.
Ride like you’re invisible and watch out for left turning vehicles. Don’t assume other drivers can see you.
Ride at appropriate speeds – Ride within your comfort zone and don’t over-ride your skill level, especially on curves.
Practice your skills in a safe location. Expose yourself gradually to conditions that have greater risk.
Ride sober – Alcohol and drugs affect your judgment and your ability to react in a safe manner.
Obey the rules of the road – Ride in a predictable fashion; that’s what other drivers expect.
Be courteous – Show courtesy and respect to other road users. That’s what you expect from them.
There's is an article of interest for motorcycles safety on DriveSmartBC, a web site maintained by Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.)
The lower photograph is courtesy of the RCMP.
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