Here in Calgary, we are seeing our roads get busier with each passing year. But summer is around the corner and that is when many Canadians look forward to getting out on the open road on their motorcycles. So all of us who share the roads must take responsibility for each others’ safety, beginning with the motorcyclist.
If you’re new to riding a motorcycle on our roads, you will want to get the proper licensing. A Class 6 Motorcycle License is required to operate a motorcycle here on our public roads. This will require you to get a Learners License, take a drivers course and then take a driving test to get the Class 6 License.
Motorcycle courses vary and they will not be enough to make you a confident rider. This will come with practice. But it’s important to take a course that covers a full range of skills that you will need to acquire. This should cover
● Traction control
● Balance and braking
● Starting the engine
● Higher and slower speed control
● Skills for the open road
● Basic traffic behaviour
● Emergency techniques
● Riding with a passenger
Even when you are an experienced rider, it can pay to take a refresher course.
Make Sure You Are Ready
Before heading out on the road for the first time, make sure you are prepared.
● Your motorcycle — do a quick walk around and make sure to check all the lights, the signals and the horn to make sure they are functioning properly. Make sure to check all components of your motorcycle including the chain, belt or shaft and the brakes. Inspect your tires for wear and to ensure that they have the right air pressure.
● Your gear — make sure you are wearing the most protective gear possible. Leather is a motorcyclists’ friend as it is strong enough to protect the skin in case of an accident. It is also sturdy enough to protect you from other hazards that you may encounter like rocks and other flying debris. Make sure that you wear bright or fluorescent colors that can be seen easily during the day and that have reflective components for riding at night.
● Your helmet — a helmet is required for anyone operating any OHV. Studies have shown that wearing a helmet reduces your chances of being injured by approximately 40 percent. Your helmet should cover your head but you should still be able to see properly. Full face helmets offer the best protection.
● Stay on the pavement — one of the most common mistakes that new drivers make is to drive their motorcycle off the road.
● Keep a safe distance — because motorcycles are not as stable as four-wheel vehicles, braking takes longer. More room allows for more brake time.
● Passing — passing with caution is imperative for a motorcyclist. Give yourself double the amount of room to pass than you think you will need. Because you are less visible, you should take extra precautions when changing lanes and passing.
When it comes to motorcycle safety, we must all take responsibility. Motorcyclists are far more vulnerable to injuries in accidents and we are committed to representing injured parties. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, call the Calgary injury lawyers at BILAB Law for a no-cost consultation. We are here to help.