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ICBC calls on drivers to reduce motorcycle crashes this summer

July 21, 2015

Motorcycle safetyICBC is urging drivers to watch out for motorcyclists on our roads as ridership and crashes peak in summer, with six riders injured every day in July and August in B.C.*

Vehicle drivers are at fault in nearly 80 per cent of crashes with motorcycles where the rider is seriously injured.* Distracted driving and failing to yield the right-of-way are the top contributing factors for drivers in crashes with motorcyclists.**

Approximately 34 per cent of crashes involve only motorcycle riders.* Inattention/distraction and speed are the top contributing factors for riders in crashes.**

Tips for drivers:

  • Watch carefully for motorcycles as they're harder to see at dusk, at night, in heavy traffic and bad weather.

  • Look twice for motorcycles at intersections and be ready to yield the right-of-way when turning left.

  • Give lots of space when passing a motorcycle and allow at least three seconds following distance when you're behind a motorcycle.

  • Make eye contact whenever possible to let motorcyclists know that you've seen them.

Tips for riders:

  • Protect yourself from serious injury by always wearing safety gear designed for riding and a helmet that meets DOT, Snell M2005, M2010, M2015 or ECE safety standards.

  • Choose gear that gives you the best chance of being seen—bright colours and reflective materials. Do your best to stay out of drivers' blind spots.

  • Prior to reaching a curve, plan your path through it. Reduce your speed and adjust your lane position. Always look in the direction you want to go.

  • Read other drivers' language—never assume they've seen you or will give you the right of way. They may not accurately judge your distance or speed of approach.

  • When approaching an intersection, adjust your lane position and reduce your speed so you'll have time to stop if you need to.

Get more tips for drivers and riders on icbc.com.

Statistics:

  • In the Lower Mainland, on average, 180 motorcyclists are injured and three are killed in crashes in July and August every year.

  • On Vancouver Island, on average, 70 motorcyclists are injured and two are killed in crashes in July and August every year.

  • In the Southern Interior, on average, 80 motorcyclists are injured and six are killed in crashes in July and August every year.

  • In the North Central region, on average, 20 motorcyclists are injured and three are killed in crashes in July and August every year.

  • On average, 350 motorcyclists are injured and 13 are killed in car crashes in July and August every year in B.C.

Quotes:

"Drivers need to do more to prevent motorcycle crashes and watch carefully for riders," said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "Riders also need to do their part by staying focused on the road and driving to the conditions, particularly when navigating curves or approaching an intersection."

"We want everyone to enjoy the great riding weather in B.C. – with a helmet and protective safety gear as appropriate," said Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice. "Drivers should consider that motorcyclists are at greater risk of fatal crashes in B.C. Although motorcycles account for only three per cent of vehicles on our roads, they represent 11 per cent of road fatalities."

"Too often police officers see the devastating results of motorcycle crashes," said Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. "We're asking motorcycle riders and their passengers to be visible, dress appropriately, pay attention and focus on driving because we don't want you to be a statistic. And to other drivers, please be alert to motorcycles – give them their space and remember that there are no minor incidents involving motorcycles."

"In B.C., more than six in 10 car crashes involving motorcycles happen at intersections," said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC's director responsible for road safety. "It can be hard to judge how fast a motorcycle is travelling, so drivers need to watch carefully when turning left and be ready to yield the right-of-way. Whether you're riding a motorcycle or driving a car, do your part to share our roads safely and keep your mind on the road."

*ICBC (injury) and police (fatality) data from 2009 to 2013.

**Top contributing factors assigned to drivers in car crashes in B.C. involving cyclist injury or fatality based on 2009 to 2013 police data.

Note annual motorcycle crash data by city/community is also available.

​Media contact:
Lindsay Olsen​
604-839-5650