Motorcycles are a fun and exciting way to experience Canada’s expansive countryside, but also an inherently dangerous one. These small, relatively light vehicles can move extremely quickly and lack the safety measures built in to cars and trucks. For this reason, motorcycle accident lawyers are often asked to represent severely injured clients who require significant compensation to assist their recovery.
In 2016, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to almost 750 motorcycle crashes, in which 31 motorcyclists died, the second most in the last six years. In response, groups like the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) and the Motorcycle & Moped Industry Council (MMIC) are eagerly promoting May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
“At the MCC our long-term goal is to make Canada the safest place to ride a motorcycle,” said MCC Chair Dave Millier in a release. “We’re encouraging everyone to take the Motorcycle Safety Pledge because behind the helmet, motorcyclists are mothers, fathers, children, and friends.”
The Motorcycle Safety Pledge urges motorcyclists to ride sober and within the limits of their ability, to obey traffic laws, and to make arriving alive their top priority. Advocacy groups and motorcycle accident lawyers hope these and other measures can make 2017 a safer year for riders.
What can you do to stay safe?
Make and share your travel plans: Before heading out on a ride, make a detailed plan including your destination, your route, and when you expect to be home. Share this plan with family and friends, and keep a fully charged cellphone with you at all times.
Travel in a group: Riding solo along an empty highway may be a romantic image, but if you’re in a crash you’ll want to have a friend nearby. A riding companion can call for emergency help in case of an accident or perform basic first aid, if necessary.
Never drink and ride: This rule applies equally to motorcycling as it does to driving a car, a boat, or a bicycle. Impairment through alcohol or drugs affects your judgment and reaction time, and can lead to serious injury or death. And unlike other motorists who drink and drive, motorcyclists do not have the benefit of airbags, windshields, or a reinforced roof.
Watch your speed: Speed was a significant contributing factor in many of the 31 motorcycling deaths in Ontario last year. Motorcycles are built for speed, but that doesn’t mean post speed limits don’t apply to you. They are there for your safety.
Rules for motorists: Road users must work together to ensure each other’s safety. Drivers of larger vehicles must be acutely aware of motorcycles on the road, as they are sometimes difficult to see. If you’re driving a car or truck on the highway, make sure to regularly check your blind spots for motorcyclists before switching lanes.
Contact an injury lawyer: If you are involved in an accident, a team of motorcycle accident lawyers can help you on your road to recovery. An experienced injury lawyer can take care of your legal proceedings while you focus on getting better.
The motorcycle accident lawyers at Will Davidson LLP have years of experience helping injured Ontarians access compensation for their injuries. Our team has a reputation for compassionate, attentive service; contact us today to arrange a free consultation and learn about how we can help.