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Riding safely through spring

Motorcyclists should always wear protective gear
Motorcyclists should always wear protective gear

Sana Ahmed, staff writer

April 27, 2011 — Warmer weather generally translates into higher accident rates on the roads. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) provide helpful tips on how the public can be more cautious while driving through the spring and summer months.

High speeds mean higher fatalities
High speeds mean higher fatalities

As we venture into warmer months, concerns rise for motorist safety. Officials point out that drivers tend to speed much more during hotter seasons than colder ones. When roads are drier and visibility is clear, motorists are generally in a happy-to-push-the-pedal kind of a mood.

Most fatalities involve motorcyclists. The OPP say the reason for this is simple: there are a lot more trucks and cars on roads than motorcycles. Other drivers usually are unable to see motorcycles in their blind spots, which can result in major accidents.

“Motorcyclists should remember to wear protective gear all the time,” says OPP Sgt. Dave Woodford in a press release. “More importantly, they should ride unimpaired by alcohol or drugs and ride to their own skill limits.”

The OPP has devised a helpful guide for motorists in order to avoid crashes:

  • Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, where you're changing lanes or turning at intersections.
  • Predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
  • Allow a greater following distance. Motorcycles often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light.
  • Maneuverability is one of a motorcycle's better characteristics; but don't expect motorcyclists to always be able to dodge out of the way.
  • Make sure you use your signal lights when changing lanes.

Drivers should always wear seatbelts
Drivers should always wear seatbelts

Another major cause for concern is public negligence when it comes to wearing seatbelts.

“Far too many people are losing their lives for not wearing their restraints at the time of the crash and many more were seriously injured for the very same reason,” says Sgt. Woodford.

What's important to note is that everyone is affected by the non-compliance of these laws and recommendations. Police urge the public to do their part and seriously consider the grave consequences associated with reckless driving and careless attitudes.

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