As of 2019, there were over 35 million registered vehicles in Canada. Of this total, 736,216 are motorcycles and mopeds.
Unfortunately, in 2020 alone, 42 people were killed in motorcycle accidents. This figure is said to be one of the highest recorded motorcycle fatalities in a decade.
Research shows that motorcyclists are 15 times more likely to be involved in a vehicle crash than other vehicle drivers in Canada.
So, what are some of the common causes of car and motorcycle crashes in Canada and what should you do to prevent them? And, if you have had the misfortune of being involved in a motorcycle accident, what types of recourse, treatment and compensation are available to you as an injured party?
Why Do People Buy Motorcycles?
- Motorcycles Are Cheaper Than Cars
- Motorcycles Have Better Gas Mileage
- Motorcycles Provide A Sense of Freedom to their Rider
- Motorcycles Allow You to Move Through Traffic Jams
- Riding A Motorcycle is a Fun Hobby
Motorcycles Are Cheaper Than Cars
Generally, motorcycles are cheaper and cost less to maintain and repair compared to other traditional vehicles. There are affordable brand-new motorcycles on the market, and there are also plenty of cheap, pre-owned motorcycles available locally or online.
Motorcycles Have Better Gas Mileage
Most motorcycles get 35 to 40 miles per gallon. Some can get more than 70 miles per gallon.
Motorcycles Provide A Sense Of Freedom To Their Rider
When you ride a motorcycle, you sit on an engine and go. Doing this gives a sense of freedom and satisfaction to a rider that other vehicles can’t provide.
Motorcycles Allow You To Move Through Traffic Jam
Due to the small size of motorcycles, riders can quickly move through slow-moving or stopped traffic. However, accidents have been known to happen to motorcyclists who weave in and out of traffic.
Riding A Motorcycle Is A Fun Hobby
To many motorcyclists, riding is a fun hobby. It is a leisure activity that is part of a rider’s daily routine.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents, And How Can You Avoid Them?
- Other Vehicles Making a Left Turn
- Lane Splitting
- Other Vehicles Changing Lanes
- Impaired Driving
- Dangerous Road Conditions
Other Vehicles Making A Left-Turn
Accidents often happen when cars or trucks making a left-turn miscalculate the distance or fail to notice a motorcycle in its path. In other instances, motorcyclists get hit by a left-turning vehicle when the driver does not see the motorcycle passing them on the left.
It can be challenging for drivers of other vehicles to notice motorcycles. Motorcyclists can protect themselves by always being vigilant on the road. As a general safety measure, you should always watch out for cars that slow down when they are approaching an intersection to ensure that the vehicle is not about to make a left hand turn right into the path of the motorcyclist.
Lane splitting or lane filtering is when a motorcyclist rides between lanes or rows of slow-moving or stopped traffic that moves in the same direction. Motorcycle riders do this to avoid traffic congestion, save time, and reach their destination more quickly. Unfortunately, other drivers do not expect to have a motorcycle coming from behind in this manner. They may unknowingly move their vehicle into the path of the motorcycle.
Motorcycle riders can protect themselves by being vigilant. Bear in mind, other drivers are not aware that a motorcycle is in their lane until they see them, in most cases.
Any vehicle operated at speeds beyond the allowed speed limit is unsafe. No matter what the type, a speeding vehicle will be difficult to control and has a high probability of crashing. Approximately 27% of road fatalities in Canada in 2019 are the direct result of high-speed driving.
Motorcyclists should never go beyond the speed limit. Since a rider’s protection consists mainly of a helmet and their clothes, injuries or death may occur.
Other Vehicles Changing Lanes
Most vehicles have blind spots on both sides, making drivers “blind” or unable to see motorcycles, pedestrians, and other objects. Motorcycle riders can protect themselves from being hit by vehicles changing lanes by becoming aware of where these blind spots are and avoid riding within them.
According to a public opinion survey of Canadian drivers in 2017, 5.1% of drivers admitted to having driven a vehicle despite believing they were over the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.08% at the time.
A driver with a BAC limit of 0.10% is 51 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than a non-drinking driver.
The only logical solution for motorcycle drivers to protect themselves is to avoid drinking alcohol if they intend to go on the road. If, for whatever reason, you cannot avoid drinking alcohol, don’t ride your motorcycle or drive any vehicle, for that matter. If you are going to drink with a group of friends, make sure a designated driver will not drink, and hitch a ride with them.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Motorcycles are vulnerable to hazardous road conditions due to their small size. Road conditions that cars or trucks could quickly recover from could be fatal for a motorcycle rider. For example, uneven pavement, slippery roads, loose gravel, or any debris on the road can cause motorcycle accidents.
Motorcyclists need to check for such road conditions and should never go beyond the speed limit.
Tips For Keeping Yourself Safe On A Motorcycle
- You must always wear your helmet.
- It would be best if you also protect your eyes. According to the Ottawa Safety Council, a helmet visor is best, but you can wear goggles, glasses or sunglasses. No matter what eyewear you use, make sure that you can see the road and other vehicles clearly while wearing them.
- Wear appropriate, and preferably, bright-coloured clothing.
- Stay off your motorcycle if you’ve had alcohol, no matter how small the amount you’ve ingested.
- Follow all traffic rules and always drive defensively.
- Slow down whenever you approach an intersection.
- Be wary of cars making a turn.
- Stay away from other vehicles’ blind spots.
- Make sure other drivers can see you. Try to make eye contact with other drivers.
Unfortunately, even if you have been a responsible motorcyclist, accidents still happen due to another person’s negligence.
“I work personally with my clients in all the cases that my law firm handles. I explain to my clients that they have rights as victims of accidents caused by another party’s negligence. My team and I go through all the evidence presented and focus on getting maximum compensation as quickly as possible. “
Personal Injury Lawyer
What Should You Do If You Have Been Involved In A Motorcycle Accident?
- Call 9-11 and request for law enforcement to come to the scene of the accident.
- Do not touch or move your motorcycle.
- Ask for the other party’s information.
- Get the names and contact information of all witnesses of the accident.
- Seek medical attention.
- Consult a personal injury lawyer.
“I want to thank Derek Wilson and everyone involved at the office for making this as comfortable and stress-free during my case. Derek is very informative and knows what’s best. This is my first time ever having to hire a lawyer, and I would highly recommend his services to anyone who wants the best outcome and help through your personal claim. I can now live my life and put my accident behind me, now that I have my resolution. Thank you again, Derek and staff. God bless!
C.M. – Hamilton
Can I Still Sue If A Wild Animal Caused My Motorcycle Accident?
Yes, you can still sue. If you were a motorcycle passenger, you could sue the person carrying you on their motorcycle for injuries you sustained during the accident. You must, however, provide information that will prove that the person riding the motorcycle has been negligent.
You should also consider the location of the motorcycle accident. If your accident occurred on a road that passes through private land, you could sue the landowner for negligence. If, however, your motorcycle accident happened on a public road alongside a zoo, park, or other public property, you could file a personal injury lawsuit against the governmental body responsible for overseeing the zoo, park, or public property.
Can I File A Lawsuit If My Motorcycle Accident Happened Out Of Province Or Out Of The Country?
Yes, you can still file a lawsuit even if your motorcycle accident occurred outside your province or even if it occurred outside the country. You have two options; 1) You can file a personal injury lawsuit in the state or country where the negligent party resides; 2) You can file a personal injury lawsuit in the state or country where the motorcycle accident happened.