Staying Safe When Riding a Motorcycle - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Staying Safe When Riding a Motorcycle


Motorcycles are a popular form of recreation and transportation throughout Canada. They are fun to ride and are fuel efficient to help their owners save money. There are more than 600,000 motorcycles registered across the country with about 30 percent of them registered in Ontario. A study of deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents in Ontario reveals that motorcyclists represent a disproportionate percentage of road fatality victims. They account for 10 percent of road deaths, but they only represent 2 percent of the vehicles on the roads. If you enjoy riding a motorcycle to get around on your daily commute or to venture out to see the country, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of being in an accident or of sustaining a serious or fatal injury.

Get a motorcycle licence and practice riding

A special motorcycle licence is required in Ontario where a graduated licensing system gives newly licensed riders a chance to practice before they receive their full M licence. The stages and requirements for each are as follows:

  • M1 licence: You must be at least 16 years of age and pass both an eye test and a written test of your knowledge of traffic signage and rules of the road to receive an M1 licence. Once you receive the M1 licence, you cannot carry passengers or ride at night. You must wear a helmet, have no alcohol in your blood and stay off roads with speed limits in excess of 80 kph.
  • M2 licence: After 60 days of practicing with an M1 licence, you can take the road test to move up to an M2 licence. The road test is waived if you take an approved motorcycle safety course. An M2 licence removes the restrictions on riding at night or on highways with speeds in excess of 80 kph.
  • M licence: You can take the road test for a full M licence 22 months after receiving the M2 licence. The time you must wait before taking the road test is shortened to 18 months by completion of an approved motorcycle safety course.

The only similarity between motorcycles and bicycles is they each have two wheels. Just because you know how to ride a bicycle does not mean you have the skills to steer and control a motorcycle. The graduated licensing system gives you the time you need to acquire the skills required to be a safe rider.

Wear an approved helmet

Part of the appeal of a motorcycle is the ability to be freed from the confinement of being surrounded by steel and glass, but that freedom comes with a price tag. More than 150,000 Canadians suffer a brain injury each year with 45 percent of the injuries attributed to motor vehicle accidents.

Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle is the law in Ontario, but it also makes sense from a safety perspective. There is nothing to protect your head in crash while riding a motorcycle, so a helmet offers you some protection lost from the lack of a steel frame.

Other pieces of equipment or apparel that could improve your chances of reducing the injuries you suffer in an accident include leather jackets, gloves and boots to protect your extremities in the event of a collision. A visor affixed to your helmet or goggles made to absorb the impact of rocks and other objects can help to avoid injuries to your face and eyes.

Ontario personal injury lawyers can help

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation for individuals suffering injuries in accidents caused by the negligence of other parties. If you have been injured in an accident, you could have a claim for compensation. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit their website to speak to someone now. They offer free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims throughout Ontario.

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