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Motorcycle safety

Sign saying share the road with a picture of a motorbike

It is that time of year where motor vehicles share the road with motorcycles. Over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle, so for this reason be road wise when sharing the road with motorcycles.

Here are some tips to keep everyone safe:

  • Because of its small size, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots (door/roof pillars) or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car (bushes, fences, bridges, etc.).
  • Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed.
  • Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, whether you’re changing lanes or turning at intersections. 
  • When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks. 
  • At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning. 
  • Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds.
  • Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles, and wind.

For motorcycle drivers:

Okotoks Municipal Enforcement remind you to ride safe on your motorcycle by following these rules to stay safe when you hit the road:

Stay Visible

Make sure your headlights are turned on, day or night, and add reflectors to your clothing and bike. Don’t hang out in other vehicles’ blind spots and stay to the left or in the centre of the lane, where you’re most visible. When in doubt that other drivers can see you, flash your brake lights or honk.

Dress for Maximum Safety

Helmets are a no-brainer and legally required. Wear thick, long-sleeved and full-legged clothing – including gloves and over-ankle boots – even in summer.

Ride Smart

Don’t ride tired or impaired, and stay alert to road conditions, traffic lights, speed limits and other road users. Give yourself and other drivers enough space to react, and don’t weave from lane to lane.

Be Prepared

Know your bike, and how to use it. Before you hit the road, take formal motorcycle training, such as the Canada Safety Council’s Gearing Up course, which covers balance, handling, braking, urban riding, traction control, high- and low-speed control, traffic, emergency techniques and more.