BCAA advises safe on two wheels

People are trading in four wheels for two and hitting the road on a motorcycle

People are trading in four wheels for two and hitting the road on a motorcycle.

Kamloops This Week

Whether it is because they are more economical, more convenient or just fun to ride, people are trading in four wheels for two and hitting the road on a motorcycle.

Between 2001 and 2009, the number of motorcycle riders on B.C. streets and highways nearly doubled from 49,000 to about 94,000.

With such an increase in riders comes and increase in the number of motorcycle-related injuries and fatalities.

Fifty-eight per cent of all crashes involving motorcycles are the fault of the motorcyclist.

Inexperience is the primary factor in most crashes. New motorcyclists in the 16- to 25-age group are the most at-risk, with a fatality rate 13 times higher than older riders.

Allan Lamb, executive director of the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation is pleased to see the provincial government moving toward stricter safety laws similar to European models, where new riders are restricted to less powerful motorcycles while learning. Lamb is pleased with the incoming helmet law requiring all drivers and passengers to wear a helmet that meets certified safety-industry standards.

There are more middle-aged riders taking to the roads, too. Often referred to as “rubies” (rich urban bikers), these riders may have never ridden a motorcycle before, ride infrequently or it has been a long time since they were on a bike.

Lamb suggests middle-age riders take an annual refresher course every spring and consider looking into appropriate insurance for their motorcycle usage.

The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation offers tips for staying safe on a motorcycle:

• Make eye contact — make sure the other driver or rider sees you.

• Pay attention — pay attention to the signals of other drivers and make your intention clear.

• Watch for left turning vehicles at intersections.

• Be aware of hazardous road conditions — wet roads, sand, gravel, potholes and other hazards may cause a motorcycle to fall.

• Pay attention to posted speeds and watch the road ahead — reduce speed on curves and watch for oncoming vehicles. Many crashes happen when a rider overshoots the road or crosses the centre line.

• Wear protective clothing — wear clothing designed for riders that is “armoured” bright and reflective.

• Wear a helmet — Helmets are mandatory in B.C. and, in crashes, helmets prevent 67 percent of head injuries and prevent 29 percent of deaths. Make sure your helmet meets current safety standards.

• Never drive a car or a motorcycle while impaired — Driving is impaired when the ability to do so is affected by any substance or condition changing the mood or perception of reality of the driver. Alcohol or drugs, illicit or prescription and even fatigue and stress will impair your driving. A combination of any or all of these things can be deadly.

 

Just Posted

Are there windier days ahead?

Tales from the Bear

Man caught in fatal avalanche ID’ed as Alberta man in his 20s

Outdoor guides warn against high winds in the mountains Family Day weekend

Road conditions for Feb. 14

More compact snow and slippery sections

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Cougars take bended knee for injured Osoyoos player

Vernon coach commends Barriere Cougars for showing respect to injured player

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Bomb threats, gunfire, kidnapping: Drug war rocks Kamloops

Kamloops RCMP battles a series of violent events

B.C. hotel trashes Channing Tatum in favour of Ryan Reynolds

Tatum’s picture left in recycling bin, replaced with photo of Ryan Reynolds

B.C. firefighters rescue bear cub stuck up a tree

Family Day was eventful for cub, firefighters

Most Read