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High number of motorcycle and vehicle collisions in Southern Interior leads to safety talks

With the recent motorcycle accidents and fatalities in the B.C. Interior, ICBC is reminding motorists and motorcyclists to be cognizant of your distance between other vehicles on the road.

In British Columbia, 60% of motorcycle crashes involve other vehicles, often when a vehicle is turning left in front of an oncoming motorcycle.

In 2016 in B.C., there were 2,600 motorcycle crashes, leaving 1,600 injured and many more killed.

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.

ICBC says the main factor for motorists who hit motorcycles is distraction and inattention, as well as failing to yield right-of-way and improper turning.

In order to reduce the number of crashes and collisions, practice safe driving by applying the following four tips:

  • Give more than enough space between your vehicle and a motorcycle when passing: It's harder to gauge the distance between your vehicle and a motorcycle. Give at least three seconds following distance when you're behind a motorcycle.

  • Scan intersections: Be a defensive driver and preemptively watch for other vulnerable road users. The majority of car and motorcycle crashes occur at intersections. Drivers need to watch for motorcycles when turning left, as it can be harder to gauge how fast a motorcycle is traveling. If in doubt, wait for the motorcycle to pass.

  • Leave your phone alone: Distracted driving is one of the main factors in collisions. Avoid anything takes your eyes off the road. Instead, give your passenger a task or pull over to complete a task.

  • Share the road with motorcycles: If in doubt about who has the right-of-way, yield to the motorcycle and avoid a crash that could result in a fatality.

In the same way, motorcyclists have a responsibility to practice defensive riding and control their speed.

Tips for motorcycle riders:

  • Wear all the right gear, all the time: This includes helmets that meet the DOT, Snell or ECE safety standards and safety gear for riding. It might be hot, but that's no excuse to make poor decisions regarding safety gear.

  • Scan intersections: Motorcycle riding is all about planning ahead and anticipating road scenarios.

  • Be bright and visible: Protect yourself and your passengers from serious injury by choosing gear with bright and reflective colours

  • Maneuver intersections safely: Especially where oncoming traffic is waiting to turn left, adjust your lane position and reduce your speed well in advance, giving yourself time to stop or an escape path if needed.

  • Share the road with vehicles: Never assume a driver has seen you. They may not accurately judge your distance or speed of approach. Stay out of drivers' blind spots. Practice appropriate signaling and lane changing.

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