Riding Responsibly in Ontario: Tips for Motorcycle Safety

Even though motorcycles make up just three percent of all vehicles on the road, they’re involved in 10 percent of road fatalities, according to Transport Canada. A crash as a motorcyclist is almost 30 times more likely to be fatal than a motorist. That’s why it’s crucial to take steps to stay safe on the road. Since May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, follow these tips to stay safe.

Take a Safety Course

These courses teach you the rules of the road for motorcycles and how to handle unpredictable situations. You might also want to explore advanced riding courses, which cover collision avoidance maneuvers, advanced turning, control tips, and braking techniques. Visit for a selection of government-approved motorcycle safety courses:

Keep a Safe Distance

Even though motorcycles require less stopping distance than other vehicles, it’s important to leave enough space in front of you for the vehicle behind you to stop, especially if it’s a loaded truck. The heavier the truck, the longer it will take to stop.

Increase Your Visibility

Increase your visibility by wearing high-visibility reflective gear, especially on your upper body. This makes it more likely for drivers to notice you on the road. Applying reflective strips to your bike doesn’t hurt either.

Watch the Road

Stay focused on the road ahead while riding and stay cognizant of changing terrain. Approach curves with caution and watch out for gravel or unstable road conditions. Railroad tracks can be slippery, and the same applies to the white lines at stoplights.

Wear Appropriate Gear

Always wear a government-approved helmet, eye protection, and gloves when riding a motorcycle. Wearing a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops is not advised. Motorcycle-specific protective clothing is recommended.

Be Cautious During Group Rides

Group rides can be hazardous because riders may cover too much of the roadway, drive side-by-side, and have varying skill levels. To mitigate risks, hold a pre-ride meeting to discuss your ride strategy and review hand signals. Designate a skilled group leader and keep your group size manageable. Ride in a staggered formation and maintain a safe following distance between motorcycles.

Maintain Your Bike

It’s crucial to keep your motorcycle well-maintained to prevent breakdowns while riding, as a mechanical failure can lead to a dangerous crash. Regularly check your brake lights, turn signals, and headlights to ensure they’re all in working order. Before each ride, take a moment to inspect your tires for sufficient pressure, as proper tire maintenance is vital for safe handling and control while riding.

Be Courteous

Tailgating and aggressive driving are always dangerous, especially on a motorcycle. Remember, motorcycles don’t offer the same protections, like seatbelts and airbags, as conventional motor vehicles do.

While we can’t control other drivers, we can prioritize motorcycle safety by riding defensively, maintaining our bikes, and staying alert. These measures significantly reduce accident risks, ensuring a safer road for everyone. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in Eastern Ontario, contact Zuber Brioux for a free consultation.