With warmer weather upon us, more riders will be hitting the road. Summer is also the time when the majority of motorcycle crashes occur. In fact, on average, seven motorcyclists are injured every day in July and August. That's why ICBC is urging everyone to expect more riders on the road and to share the roads safely with them.
On average, 1,600 motorcyclists are injured and 37 are killed in 2,500 crashes every year in B.C.
Motorcyclists can be difficult to see – especially if you're not actively looking for them. The most common contributing factors police assign to drivers who hit motorcyclists are distracted or inattentive driving and failing to yield right-of-way.
It's important that both drivers and riders practice safe driving to keep our communities safe. Whether you're riding a motorcycle or driving a vehicle, we all need to do our part to prevent crashes and avoid putting additional pressure on first responders and medical resources.
Stay focused and avoid distractions that take your mind off driving and your eyes off the road. Scan intersections and look for motorcycles. When turning left, look carefully for oncoming motorcycles. Look for motorcycles before changing lanes. Due to their smaller profile, motorcycles can be harder to see, and fit more easily into your vehicle's blind spots. Make a game of looking for motorcycles while you drive. Have each person in your vehicle guess how many riders you'll see during the drive and then count them as you go. It's a great way train yourself, and your passengers, to look for motorcyclists. Give lots of space when passing a motorcycle and allow at least three seconds following distance when you're behind a motorcycle.
Get training – whether it's in preparation for getting a licence, or to refresh your skills. Practice, practice, practice – find an empty parking lot, set up cones, and practice your turning, low-speed manoeuvres, and emergency braking skills, so they'll be second nature when you need them on the road. Don't ride more bike than you can handle. Choose a motorcycle that is a fit for your experience and skill ability. It's important to be familiar with the handling characteristics of your ride and be able to safely manage it. Choose to wear safety gear designed for riding, especially gear that not only protects you from the road, but also gives you the best chance of being seen. Bright colours and reflective materials are best. Protect yourself from serious injury by always wearing a helmet that meets or exceeds legal requirements. Full face helmets offer the best protection. At a minimum, look for a helmet that meets DOT, Snell or ECE safety standards.
If you're interested in getting your motorcycle licence, COVID-19 restrictions have been eased and you can now book an appointment for your knowledge test and motorcycle skills testing.
If your learner's licence (class 6L) expired on or after March 17, then your first requalification test fee of $15 will be waived. If you are unsuccessful, you will need to book another appointment to reattempt the test. Regular fees will apply.
Get more driver and rider tips on icbc.com and the latest information on road test bookings at icbc.com/covid-19.
*Motorcyclist incident and injuries in B.C. based on ICBC claims data (2018). Includes incidents in parking lots and incidents involving parked vehicles; and excludes crashes involving out of province vehicles.
Motorcyclist fatalities in B.C. based on police-reported data (2014-2018). Includes low-speed motorcycles (scooters, mopeds and trikes).