Spring Motorcycle Safety in Ottawa

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Ottawa Injury Lawyer Discusses the Importance of Being Mindful on the Roads

As the warm weather approaches, drivers can expect to see more motorcyclists on the road. While sharing the road with motorcycles is nothing new to seasoned drivers, ask any Ottawa injury lawyer and they’ll tell you that sometimes, these two varieties of traffic don’t mix well-with occasionally tragic results. Motorcycle safety is a two-way street, and it’s important to be mindful regardless of what you’re driving. Here are a few important tips for being mindful on the roads and avoiding motorcycle accidents:

For Car Drivers

  1. Mind your blind spots. Motorcycles are smaller and easier to miss in your blind spots. You should always double check your blind spots, but even more so when you notice bikes on the road around you.
  2. Give enough space. Even though motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles, you should still keep the same amount of distance as you would for another four-wheeled vehicle. Because motorcycles are smaller, they can actually appear farther away than they really are, so it’s best to always assume that a motorcycle is closer than it appears.
  3. Be careful turning. Many motorcycle accidents are the result of improper turns. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a whopping 44 per cent of fatal two-vehicle accidents involving a motorcycle in 2013 were the result of a car turning left while the motorcycle went straight. Not all motorcycles are equipped with self-cancelling turn signals, so drivers need to be aware that even if the motorcyclists has their right turn signal on, they could have simply forgotten to turn it off.

For Motorcycle Drivers

  1. Wear the right gear. You don’t need an Ottawa injury lawyer to tell you that in Canada, motorcyclists are required by law to wear a helmet. So make sure you always wear an approved helmet for your province and that you fasten it properly. Most crashes happen at speeds of 50 kilometers per hour, and proper helmets are made to prevent injuries at those speeds, but only if they’re worn properly. It’s also a good idea to wear protective gear and highly visible clothing.
  2. Check your signals. If your bike isn’t equipped with self-cancelling turn signals, make absolutely sure your signal is off anytime you aren’t making a turn.
  3. Leave enough room. Even though motorcycles are easier to maneuver, don’t get too cocky. You should always leave yourself more room than you think you need.

When the motorcycles come out of hibernation, it’s important that all drivers know how to accommodate their two-wheeled friends. A little mindfulness and precaution can go a long way in keeping the roads a safe place. And if the worst should happen and an accident does occur, an Ottawa injury lawyer can help you get fair compensation.