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OPP offers tips to protect motorcyclists

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With the warmer temperatures, motorcyclists are starting to venture back out on the roadways.

The OPP wishes to remind all drivers to be extra vigilant when on the roads as motorcycles are less visible than other vehicles. Police say of the 27 motorcyclists who died on OPP patrolled roadways in 2019, 10 were reported as not being at fault. Officials add of the 178 who have died in the past five years (2015-2019), many were reported as not at fault.

The Nipissing West OPP says in 2019 they investigated two motorcycle fatalities, and one off-road vehicle fatality.

Officials say motorcyclists are more vulnerable as they lack protection for the driver in the event of a crash. The OPP have provided some safety tips for motorists when it comes to motorcycle season:

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  • Share the road with motorcycles – in almost half of all motorcycle collisions, the motorist is at fault, not the motorcyclist
  • Motorists should always have a watchful eye out for motorcycles given how difficult they can be to see
  • Watch for motorcycles at intersections – over one-third of motorcycle collisions are intersection related

On the other side of that coin, the OPP also have safety recommendations for motorcyclists:

  • Motorcyclists should avoid riding in a vehicle’s blind spot in an effort to reduce the chance of a potential collision caused by motorists who may not see them
  • Motorcyclists should not assume that other drivers can see them – drivers that have collided with motorcycles often say they did not see the motorcycle until it was too late
  • Always ride at a speed appropriate for road and weather conditions as speeding and loss of control are major causes of motorcycle collisions
  • When riding, always wear an approved motorcycle helmet and bright, high-quality protective gear to make yourself more visible to other motorists
  • Look for changes in the colour of pavement ahead. Often those changes in colour mean change in traction

Officials add motorcyclists should avoid riding in low light and low visible driving conditions.

“Just because motorcycle season is here, it does not change the obligation we all have right now to stay at home as much as possible,” said OPP Chief Superintendent Rohan Thompson, Commander, Highway Safety Division. “For those who do use motorcycles for essential travel, the last thing they should do is take extra risks because of lighter traffic or out of worry that they may not get much recreational riding in this season.

“As we all try to get through the tough weeks ahead, we expect no less than safe, defensive driving on the part of Ontario motorcyclists and other drivers,” he added.

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