The big news story this past summer has been the number of motorcycle fatalities on BC highways. Between January and July 2018 thirty people died in motorcycle crashes. That is twice as many as the same period last year and according to ICBC speed is the number one factor.
There are some things that come to mind for me. I would like to know more about the accidents. What types of bikes were involved in the crashes, sport bikes, cruisers, café, naked, etc? There have been crash photos in the news where you could tell the type of bike involved, and they’re not all sport bikes. Yet, more often than not it is the sport bike rider you see traveling at some insane speed weaving in and out of traffic.
It would also be interesting to know how many of the fatalities involved people who did, or didn’t, take a proper learn to ride courses, or, were wearing the right protection. For now, we know nine out of ten were male, and twenty three percent were caused by environmental conditions such as slippery roads. Fourteen per cent were caused by other drivers.
The increase in fatalities on motorcycles is not just a BC thing. Other provinces have also reported an increase. Near the end of August Nova Scotia reported 10 fatalities this year, that’s just over twice as many as 2017.
Information about the how and why these accidents occurred and the riding history of the victims is important. It can be used to raise awareness and encourage the development of preventative measures. Hopefully they will be preventative measures new and old riders will embrace. We’re reminded every time we ride what the speed limit is, but for some reason a lot of people believe it is their right to exceed the posted limit which often puts them and others in harm’s way. In addition, awareness campaigns and preventative measures should also target drivers.
We know accidents will happen and we as motorcyclists should do whatever it takes to be good riders. Learn to ride safe, wear the right gear, follow the rules of the road, anticipate what cars around you might do, be alert, focused, update your riding skills, be visible and pray the car in the intersection you’re approaching who is about to make a left hand turn sees you coming.