Important Information For Motorcyclists

Photo by John Ewing/staff photographer Friday, May 28, 2010...Hogs, Pies and Fireworks in Gardiner. Featuring a motorcycle parade down Water Street and a pizza pie competition followed by fireworks over the Kennebec River. The motorcycle parade thunders down Water Street in Gardiner.

Unbelievably there are 100s of motorcyclists out there who probably do not know the laws and regulations regarding their rights should they have an accident on the road. What a lot of motorcyclists do not realize is that without following specific guidelines and meeting standard requirements if an accident occurs which wasn’t their fault they could still be held liable. In many cases the other driver involved can get away without penalty even though the accident was caused solely through their negligence. As unfair as it sounds it makes it even more imperative that if you use a motorcycle regularly you should cover yourself by following safety regulations and licensing laws correctly.

Due to the high volume of motorcycle accidents which can occur there is a Motorcycle Accident Law specifically designed to deal with those situations. To use a motorcycle on a regular basis there are a series of requirements that must be met in order for you to be riding your motorcycle legally under Canadian law.

In the vast majority of provinces your driver’s license requires to have a special endorsement on it which allows you to legally ride your motorcycle. In certain cases you will have to sit a course in safety procedures before receiving this endorsement on your license. Safety equipment is another stipulation which must be adhered to when planning to get or already owning a motorcycle. A helmet which meets safety regulations must be worn in most provinces of Canada but in some areas goggles are acceptable. Motorcyclists are expected to help themselves get noticed by other drivers by wearing reflective vests or arm-bands as well as clothing to protect their body should they come off the motorcycle for any reason.

Statistically Speaking:

  1. 2 out of 3 accidents are caused by motorcyclists colliding with other passenger vehicles. This can be due to a variety of things including excessive speed, braking too hard or over-curving at corners directly in to on-coming traffic.

  2. In Ontario alone between 2008 – 2014 175 motorcyclists were killed. Only 16 of those were under 25, the rest were aged between 45 – 55 years of age.

  3. People are generally under the assumption that motorcycle accidents are caused due to wet roads or bad weather but in fact 98% of accidents which have occurred the weather has not been a troublesome factor. In many cases the roads have been completely dry.

  4. About 1 in 4 accidents involving motorcycles are due to colliding with road signs and other fixed stationary objects.

Enhanced Liability laws have been brought in recently to increase awareness to other drivers regarding motorcyclists. It aims to encourage them to practice caution when on the road and to be more aware of motorcyclists. It is hoped that the new law will help in some way to prevent future accidents occurring.

If you haven’t done so already it is worth checking the status of your current driving license to ensure you have a motorcycle endorsement. Please make sure all of your safety equipment is providing sufficient protection for you while out riding your motorcycle.

Unfortunately accidents can occur but at least if you have taken proper precautions regarding your safety and have an up-to-date legal motorcycle license you will be better prepared if the inevitable should happen.

Categorized as Legal