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OPP: Remember to share the road with motorcycles

Nice weather is here, and more and more motorcycles will be on the roads

With the nice weather upon us, the Ontario Provincial Police says quite a few motorcycle enthusiasts are now out on the roads.

Every year, dozens of motorcyclists die on OPP-patrolled roads. 

In 2019, the Nipissing West Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) investigated two motorcycle fatalities and one Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) fatality.

The OPP would like to remind all road users that safe, defensive driving is paramount to reducing the number of motorcycle fatalities and serious injuries on our roads and highways.

“Sharing the road safely is every driver's responsibility,” said the OPP, in a press release. “This cannot be overstated when motorcycles are involved.”

Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than other drivers as they can be tougher to see than other vehicles and they lack characteristics that directly contribute to occupant safety, providing virtually no protection in a crash.

Alcohol/drug impairment, distraction, speed (and other aggressive behaviours) have no place on our roads - especially when motorcycles are involved, the OPP said.

Safety tips for motorists:

  • Share the road with motorcycles - in almost half of all motorcycle collisions, the motorist is at fault, not the motorcyclist.
  • Motorists should always have a watchful eye out for motorcycles given how difficult they can be to see.
  • Watch for motorcycles at intersections - over one third of motorcycle collisions are intersection related.

Safety tips for motorcyclists:

  • Motorcyclists should avoid riding in a vehicle's blind spot in an effort to reduce the chance of a potential collision caused by motorists who may not see them.
  • Motorcyclists should not assume that other drivers can see them — drivers that have collided with motorcycles often say they did not see the motorcycle until it was too late.
  • Always ride at a speed appropriate for road and weather conditions as speeding and loss of control are major causes of motorcycle collisions.
  • When riding, always wear an approved motorcycle helmet and bright, high-quality protective gear to make yourself more visible to other motorists.
  • Look for changes in the colour of pavement ahead. Often those changes in colour mean change in traction.