Photo: ICBC

SIXTY per cent of motorcycle crashes in B.C. involve other vehicles – that’s why ICBC is urging everyone to share the roads safely with motorcycles and yield the right-of-way at intersections.

Today marks the start of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and, with warmer weather upon us, more riders will be hitting the road. It’s important that both drivers and riders practice safe driving to keep our communities safer.

Last year in B.C., 1,600 motorcyclists were injured in 2,600 crashes.

Tips for drivers:

  • Give extra space when passing a motorcycle: Allow at least three seconds following distance when you’re behind a motorcycle.

  • Scan intersections: As with other vulnerable road users, the majority of car crashes involving motorcycles happen in intersections. Drivers need to look out for motorcycles – especially when turning left – they can be harder to see and it can be tough to judge how fast they’re travelling.

  • Leave your phone alone: Stay focused and avoid distractions that take your mind off driving and your eyes off the road.

  • Share the road with motorcycles: If in doubt about who has the right-of-way, yield to the motorcycle.

    Tips for riders:

  • Wear all the gear, all the time: This includes a helmet that meets DOT, Snell or ECE safety standards and safety gear designed for riding. In all weather conditions, wearing proper motorcycle safety gear is key to reducing the severity of injuries in the event of a crash.

  • Be bright and visible: Protect yourself and your passengers from serious injury by choosing gear that has bright colours and reflective materials.

  • Manoeuvre intersections safely: Especially where oncoming traffic is waiting to turn left, adjust your lane position and reduce your speed so you’ll have an escape path or time to stop if you need it.

  • Share the road with vehicles: Never assume a driver has seen you. They may not accurately judge your distance or speed of approach. As best you can, stay out of drivers’ blind spots.

This month, local police will be conducting two free motorcycle skills training sessions: in the Lower Mainland on May 13 and in Greater Victoria on May 14. Riders are invited to bring their motorcycles to receive coaching by police instructors and learn skill-enhancing and life-saving manoeuvres in a closed course.

Get more driver and rider tips on icbc.com.