Insurance Bureau of Canada Offers Motorcycle Safety Tips

"If it's your first ride of the season, do a complete check of your motorcycle or take it to a dealer for a tune-up," said Steve Kee, director of Media & Digital Communications at IBC.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada released safety tips for Canadian motorcyclists last week, as spring's warmer temperatures mean more of them will be on the roads. Citing Statistics Canada, IBC said there are 672,000 registered motorcycles and mopeds in Canada, one-third of them in Ontario.

"If it's your first ride of the season, do a complete check of your motorcycle or take it to a dealer for a tune-up," said Steve Kee, director of Media & Digital Communications at IBC. "At the very least, check and clean your battery terminals and check the oil and other lubricants. Also, check the tire inflation and inspect your tires for cuts and cracks."

IBC's top 10 tips for a safe motorcycle ride are these:

  • Drive what you can control. Often, people buy motorcycles that are too powerful for them to handle. Ask your dealer if you can test drive the bike before you buy it.
  • Take a safety course. Be aware of your limits on a motorcycle. What would happen if you had to quickly avoid an incident?
  • Ride according to weather and road conditions. Check the forecast and keep your eyes on the road ahead.
  • Wear a DOT approved helmet. Choose the helmet best suited for how you ride, and replace your helmet every five years.
  • Wear clothing that will protect you in a fall. Heavy denim or leather jackets and pants aren't just stylish; they help prevent nasty cuts and burns if you fall.
  • Stay focused on the road. The cold reality is that motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a collision than people in a car, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
  • Always be seen. Assume car drivers can't see you, so leave them plenty of room. Also, wear clothing or reflective materials that allow you to be seen.
  • Ride in the proper position in the lane. Know where you should be positioned in the lane and never drive along the middle of the lane where there is oil buildup from cars.
  • Practice riding with others. When riding as a group form a staggered pattern and establish hand signals that all of the riders understand.
  • Stop frequently. Being rested will help you focus on the roads.

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