May is motorcycle safety awareness month

(WHGH) – May 13, 2022 – May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. With warmer weather and thousands of bikers expected to arrive in Port Dover for the Friday the 13th motorcycle rally, West Haldimand General Hospital (WHGH) is urging everyone to be on alert and to share the road with motorcyclists.

According to recent data shared by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), fatal motorcycle crashes have steadily climbed in the province over the last ten years.

Between 2012 and 2021, the OPP responded to 326 fatal motorcycle collisions which claimed the lives of 342 riders. A total of 120 of the riders who died were involved in single-vehicle collisions.

Each year, WHGH sees many injuries related to motorcycles and is urging everyone to keep safety top of mind on our roadways as we head into the sunny season.

Both motorcyclists and motorists need to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Checking blind spots, and mirrors and using turn signals are necessary when changing lanes and when passing.

Distracted driving has also been on the rise. Don’t let one phone call or text message change someone’s life forever.

Here are 10 tips from the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council (MMIC) to keep motorcyclists riding safely all season long:

1. Ease back into riding season by getting comfortable on your motorcycle.

2. Check your bike regularly to ensure tires, controls, lights, and fluids are all in good working order.

3. Practice key riding skills like quick swerves, u-turns, emergency braking, figure 8, turning, etc.

4. Gear up, every ride, with an approved helmet, as well as a jacket, pants, gloves, and boots.

5. Choose hi-visibility, bright-colored riding gear to be seen.

6. Be aware of the weather and adjust your riding style and riding gear accordingly.

7. Ride defensively by remaining vigilant, staying situationally aware, and avoiding threats.

8. Stay at a safe distance from other vehicles so you have the time and space to react if necessary.

9. Stay out of blind spots by riding in front or behind vehicles, rather than to the side of vehicles.

10. Ride in staggered formation on group rides to allow each rider to have a clear view ahead.

Car and truck drivers should also be on the lookout for motorcycles on the roads, by practicing these safe driving tips all season long:

1.  Always check your mirrors and blind spots, especially before turning or changing lanes.

2. Take that second look to better judge the speed and distance of a motorcycle in your vicinity.

3. Allow for extra room to avoid cutting off a motorcyclist.

4. Allow for extra space when driving behind a motorcyclist.

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