Keep an Eye Out for the Wheeled Ones!
May 09, 2012
Motorcyclists face higher risks than other drivers
The warm spring weather has resulted in more than just greener grass, blooming buds and smiling citizens. It also means there are far more motorcyclists sharing the road.
Unfortunately, the increased presence of motorcyclists doesn’t always come along with an increased awareness by other drivers, and each group must exercise vigilance in order to save lives and prevent serious injuries.
“Motorcycle operators are more vulnerable to being seriously injured or killed if they’re involved in a collision,” says Gerry Shimko, Executive Director, Office of Traffic Safety, City of Edmonton. “Other drivers must remind themselves that these vehicles are out in large numbers this time of year. That awareness can go a long way toward preventing collisions.”
For their part, motorcyclists must take extra steps to minimize risks on city streets and area highways. It is important that operators use roads suited for their skill level, wear the proper protective gear, watch for unexpected actions by other drivers and adhere to the posted speed limit.
A video provided courtesy of the Transport Accident Commission in Geelong, Victoria (Australia) shows the importance of motorcyclists following the speed limit.
“Driving even a few kilometres an hour less can make a significant difference in reaction time,” adds Shimko. “Motorcyclists have the same rights as every other road user but the reality is that the consequences of a collision with another vehicle are always far worse for the person riding the motorcycle.”
Research by the Foothills Medical Centre at the University of Calgary shows that motorcyclists are more than 3.5 times more likely to get injured or die than other motor vehicle drivers. “All of the injuries in motorcyclists occurred during the summer months, leading to an adjusted risk of almost 8 times compared with that of the motor vehicle driver,” said Dr. Rick Buckly who co-authored a research paper on the dangers faced by motorcylists.
In 2011, there were 199 motorcycle collisions in Edmonton that resulted in 4 deaths and 139 injuries.
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