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Tips for driving a motorcycle safer on the roads

As a motorcyclist, you know that you have some of the responsibility to keep yourself safe on the roads. You need to watch the speed at which you travel, making sure not to go too fast against current weather conditions or beyond your abilities. If you drive at night or dust, it's more likely for wild animals to be about, so slowing down can keep you safer.

Of course, night driving makes it harder to see, too, so you should anticipate things like potholes and other dangers by slowing down and using your headlights appropriately. Doing all these things can help keep you safe, but you're not the only factor in a crash. Motorists share some responsibilities.

They must be aware that motorcyclists can be harder to see, so they should always take the time to double check for motorcyclists before turning or moving into another lane. Checking their blind spots can help them avoid hitting a motorcyclist riding beside them in a passing lane or highway lane. Drivers who want to be sure not to hit a motorcyclist should always double check before making a left-hand turn; cutting off a motorcyclist can result in a head-on collision that is more likely to be fatal for the rider.

Ontario drivers who don't take the time to look for motorcyclists and cause an accident can be held liable for those injuries and the income a rider loses while unable to work. The driver may also be liable for any damage to the victim's vehicle. Victims can pursue a claim through insurance or sue the driver directly if insurance is not available.

Source: Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada, "Ride Smart to Ride Again," accessed Sep. 21, 2016

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