With the glorious warm weather upon us, the thrill of jumping on a motorcycle and riding through the streets is undeniable. However, before hopping on, ensure you are prepared to do so, and your motorcycle is road worthy. Motorcyclists are vulnerable road users given that motorcyclists lack protection and motorcycles are smaller in size in comparison to a car or truck. If struck, motorcyclists are likely to be very seriously injured.
According to Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics, in 2018 there were 200 motorcyclist fatalities (10.4% of all road fatalities) while 12.1% of road users who were seriously injured were motorcyclists. Therefore, it is extremely important that motorcyclists use every precaution to stay safe on the roads. Here are some tips and recommendations in staying safe while riding your motorcycle:
- Always wear a helmet and make sure your passengers wear a helmet. Section 104 of the Highway Traffic Act imposes an obligation on the motorcyclists to wear a helmet that complies with the regulations and secures safely under your chin;
- Wear protective clothes and gear i.e. gloves, proper footwear, jackets, illuminating outer wear etc.;
- Ensure your motorcycle is roadworthy. Before hopping on, inspect your motorcycle to ensure your lights, signals, horn, brakes, chains or drive shafts and shock absorbers are all in good condition and your tires are properly pressured;
- It never hurts to check the weather. Storms and heavy rain can impair vision and can become slippery on the roads. In very bad weather, it may be best to leave your motorcycle at home and opt for a different form of transportation;
- Be sober, alert, well and fit when you hop on your motorcycle;
- Never be distracted or impaired while on a motorcycle;
- Always be mindful of the other road users;
- Always be seen to other road users; and
- Never speed.
Motorcycle injuries can be very serious, even fatal, as there are no air bags or the cushion of a car frame to protect you. Injuries can vary from brain injuries, fractures, concussions, spinal cord injuries to death.
If unfortunately you are injured as a result of a motorcycle accident, you can make a claim for Statutory Accident Benefits through your own insurance company for ongoing benefits such as medical, rehabilitation, attendant care, income loss, amongst others, and you can start a lawsuit against the at-fault party, if there was an at-fault party.
If you wish to start these claims, it is important you follow certain steps at the scene of the accident to ensure proper information is collected. Following are some suggested steps you can follow:
- Obtain the contact and insurance information of the other driver;
- Contact the police or attend at a collision centre to file a police report;
- Take as many photos of your motorcycle and the other vehicle to show the damages to the two vehicles as a result of the accident;
- Obtain contact information of any witnesses of the accident;
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. If the injuries are serious an ambulance may be called to the scene of the accident;
- Contact your insurer and report the accident; and
- Contact a personal injury lawyer to assist you with the overwhelming amount of paperwork you may have to deal with.
At Singer Kwinter, we have years of experience assisting clients with motorcycle related injuries to obtain the benefits and compensation they deserve. Navigating through an often-complexed legal system is challenging for someone focused on recovering from life altering injuries. We are here to help you! While we recommend safety first, if you or a loved one is faced with an unfortunate motorcycle injury call us for a free consultation.