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Motorcycle riders: protecting yourself better

Reduce your chances of crashing your motorbike—or being seriously injured if you are in a crash.

Motorcycle riders with highly visible safety vests.

Safety tips for riders

Here are some great ways to reduce your risk out there:

Wear an approved helmet

Wearing an approved motorcycle helmet is now the law in B.C.

B.C.'s new helmet and seating laws—effective June 1, 2012 (PDF)

Choose a helmet that

Note: Replace your helmet if you’ve been in a crash, or if it’s been dropped or is showing signs of wear. Also, check the manufacturer's manual to see if an expiry date has been established for use of your helmet.

Wear highly visible protective gear

Street clothes don't protect you that much from the elements—or in a crash.

Make sure you and passengers are properly seated

New laws takes effect June 1, 2012:

Motorcycle riders and passengers must have their feet on the foot pegs or floorboards, or be properly seated in a sidecar.

Also, you’re responsible to ensure passengers younger than 16 are properly seated. Anyone who can’t reach the foot pegs is not allowed to ride.

Do a pre-trip check

Before riding, always make sure your motorbike is in good operating condition. Check the tires, wheels, rims, drive system, electrical, fluids, clutch, throttle, mirror and brakes.

Communicate with drivers

Read vehicle language—never rely on other road users’ judgment or assume they’ll respect your right of way. They may not see you. Even if they do, they may misjudge your distance or speed.

When in doubt, yield the right of way.

When overtaking vehicles in traffic, watch out for signal lights, front wheel movements or drivers who are shoulder-checking or checking their mirrors.

Do your best to stay out of drivers’ blind spots. 

New and returning riders

ICBC’s Learn to ride smart and Tuning up for riders guides provide great information for brushing up on your knowledge and riding skills.

* ICBC injury data from 2006–2010. Police-reported fatality data from 2005–09.

Facts & Tips

Motorcycle riders are

  • eight times more likely to be killed, and
  • 41 per cent more likely to be injured

than other road users in B.C.

(ICBC injury data from 2006–2010. Police-reported fatality data from 2005–09.)