As we are officially in the summer months, more motorcyclists are out riding on our roads. Durham Regional Police would like motorists and motorcycle fanatics to enjoy this riding season but to remember to drive with extra caution.
Here are some tips to stay safe on our roadways.
Always remember to wear the appropriate protective gear when riding. Fifteen per cent of motorcycle injuries and 10 per cent of deaths are due to riders not wearing helmets.
• Always wear a properly fitted helmet.
• All helmets must be DOT (Department of Transportation) approved.
• Wear bright and reflective clothing to increase visibility to motorists.
• Protect your skin and wear a proper jacket with shoulder and elbow pads, pants, leather gloves and boots.
Be extra cautious at intersections. One-third of motorcycle accidents occur at an intersection.
• Watch for vehicles making left-hand turns of pulling out from a side street.
• Motorcyclists should try to avoid riding in driver’s blind sports as you can become completely hidden.
NEVER drink and drive.
• Alcohol and prescription drugs can affect your ability to control your motorcycle safely, increasing your chances of a collision.
• Drinking and driving can have serious legal consequences.
Maintain your visibility.
• Use your indicators for all lane changes and turns.
• Riders should never drive directly in the middle of the lane. Driving a little to the side increases your visibility to drivers and blocks vehicles from trying to squeeze by.
• Decreased visibility, rain and strong winds can cause you to lose control.
Don’t exceed the speed limit.
• Loss of control due to speeding is a major of motorcycle accidents.
• Look out for potholes, loose gravel and other hazardous road conditions.
• Watch for sharp turns and take them slowly.
Things to know
• Know your motorcycle and how it reacts.
• Taking a motorcycle course will enhance your knowledge and skills on the road.
• Always check the tires on your bike for the correct pressure after winter.
• Check oil engine and fluid levels and make sure mufflers are in good condition.
Make sure to always share the road.
• Treat motorcycles like any other vehicle.
• Keep a two-second distance behind the vehicle in front of you.
• Be cautious of turning left behind a motorcycle.
• Motorcycle turn signals can be hard to see. Always watch for signs of turning such as a shoulder check or leaning.
Assess the speed of the motorcycle.
• Never pull out in front of, or cut off a motorcycle.
• Speeding and tailgating are more dangerous to motorcyclists, so avoid these aggressive maneuvers.
Be a courteous driver.
• Give drivers space to change lanes.
• Use proper signals for turns and lane changes.
• Check your mirrors so you are aware of the vehicles around you.
• Always check your blind spots for other vehicles and motorcycles.
NEVER drink and drive.
• Alcohol and prescription drugs can affect your ability to safely control your vehicle, increasing your chances of an accident.
• Drinking and driving can have serious legal consequences, or worse, injury or death.
Have fun and stay safe!
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