It’s prime cruising season for motorcycle enthusiasts from coast to coast. The combination of clear skies and a radiant sun make summer the perfect time to enjoy the open road.
An important part of making the most of your time on the road is ensuring that you’re as safe as possible on two wheels. While the latest Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision statistics show a decrease in the number of fatalities, serious injuries and total injuries on the road, motorcyclists remain at a higher risk of injury or fatality in any collision.
Motorcycle safety checklist
How many safety habits can you check off?
Inspect your motorcycle before every ride, including tires, gas, brakes and oil levels. Wondering what to look for? Watch this video.
Wear high-visibility clothing. A jacket, pants, gloves and riding boots are a must to reduce injury in a potential road incident.
Strap on an approved helmet before you start your engine—every time. Each province and territory has its own helmet standards. Here’s a round-up of the certifications.
Be aware of other drivers’ blind spots – and avoid riding in them.
Ride in a steady, predictable way. Rapid or unexpected movements can make other drivers react in an unsafe way.
Make eye contact with other drivers at intersections to make sure they see you and understand your intentions, and vice versa.
Use your turn signals, including during lane changes.
Observe the speed limit and adjust your tempo depending on the conditions of the road and the traffic so you can stop or steer away from a vehicle with plenty of time.
If you have a passenger, make sure they’re wearing an approved helmet and their feet reach and remain on the foot pegs or footboards.
Upgrade your skills
If you’re new to motorcycling, would like to brush up on your knowledge of current road rules or simply want to take your riding to another level, consider taking a training course.
Organizations like Ontario’s Rider Training Institute offer many programs for different needs, including riding basics, intro to riding, refresher skills and maintenance. When looking for a course and a training provider in your area, check out the Motorcycle & Moped Industry Council’s tips on what to look for in a reputable training program.
If you make it a practice to learn something new about your passion every season, remember to include safety as you gather knowledge. There’s nothing like feeling confident, free and secure on the road.
Head out on the highway!