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Watch out for motorcyclists, urges ICBC

July 27, 2017

With more motorcyclists hitting our roads during summer, ICBC is urging drivers to look out for riders and yield the right-of-way at intersections.

The majority of motorcycle crashes in B.C. – 60 per cent – involve other vehicles. A common scenario is a vehicle turning left in front of an oncoming motorcycle.

Motorcycles are difficult to see, especially if you're not looking for them. Last year in B.C., 1,600 motorcyclists were injured in 2,600 crashes.

The top contributing factors for drivers who hit motorcycles are distraction/inattention, failing to yield right-of-way and improper turning.

It's important that both drivers and riders practice safe driving to keep our roads safe and prevent crashes.

Tips for drivers:

  • Give extra space when passing a motorcycle: Allow at least three seconds following distance when you're behind a motorcycle.

  • Scan intersections: As with other vulnerable road users, the majority of car crashes involving motorcycles happen in intersections. Drivers need to look out for motorcycles – especially when turning left – they can be harder to see and it can be tough to judge how fast they're travelling.

  • Leave your phone alone: Stay focused and avoid distractions that take your mind off driving and your eyes off the road.

  • Share the road with motorcycles: If in doubt about who has the right-of-way, yield to the motorcycle.

Tips for riders:

  • Wear all the gear, all the time: This includes a helmet that meets DOT, Snell or ECE safety standards and safety gear designed for riding. In all weather conditions, wearing proper motorcycle safety gear is key to reducing the severity of injuries in the event of a crash.

  • Be bright and visible: Protect yourself and your passengers from serious injury by choosing gear that has bright colours and reflective materials.

  • Manoeuvre intersections safely: Especially where oncoming traffic is waiting to turn left, adjust your lane position and reduce your speed so you'll have an escape path or time to stop if you need it.

  • Share the road with vehicles: Never assume a driver has seen you. They may not accurately judge your distance or speed of approach. As best you can, stay out of drivers' blind spots.

Get more driver and rider tips on

Regional statistics*:

  • Last year in the Lower Mainland, 940 motorcyclists were injured in 1,500 crashes. On average, 12 motorcyclists are killed in crashes each year in the region.

  • Last year on Vancouver Island, 310 motorcyclists were injured in 520 crashes. On average, six motorcyclists are killed in crashes each year in the region.

  • Last year in the Southern Interior, 330 motorcyclists were injured in 440 crashes. On average, 11 motorcyclists are killed in crashes each year in the region.

  • Last year in the North Central region, 47 motorcyclists were injured in 73 crashes. On average, five motorcyclists are killed in crashes each year in the region.


*Motorcyclist incident and injuries in B.C. based on ICBC claims data (2016). Includes incidents in parking lots and incidents involving parked vehicles; and excludes crashes involving out of province vehicles.

Motorcyclist fatalities in B.C. based on police-reported data (2011-2015). Includes low-speed motorcycles (scooters, mopeds and trikes).

Media contact

Lindsay Olsen