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Riders Responsibilities

The most significant factors in fatal motorcycle crashes involve excessive speed, lack of skill /experience /licence, older age, alcohol consumption and lack of safety equipment.  With the fatality rate from motorcyclists on the rise in the past 10 years, riding safe is something every rider should take seriously.

The Ontario Road Safety Annual Report (2008) shown here breaks down these statistics in relation to Ontario Riders:

Table 6.2: Selected Factors Relevant to Fatal Motorcycle Collisions, 2008
Factors (not mutually exclusive)

Unlicensed Motorcycle Drivers

Under 25 Years Old
Alcohol Used

Ability Impaired Alcohol > .08

Had Been Drinking

Helmet Not Worn (Fatalities)
Motorcycle Driver Error

Speed Too Fast/Lost Control

Other Error
Single Vehicle Collisions

To help ensure your riding safely, there are four rules every motorcyclist should follow:

1. Ride Sober - Over half of single vehicle motorcycle crashes have alcohol involved and in Ontario in 2005 25% of fatal crashes had were alcohol related.  This statistic seems extremely high for something that is so easy to prevent. Don't drink and ride, it reduces your visual capabilities and greatly affects your judgement; two things that are key in being safe while riding on two wheels.  

2. Ride Responsibly - Its important to make sure you wearing full protective gear, even on hot summer days when suiting up in a leather jacket and full fingered gloves may seem like a nightmare.  

Things to never leave the driveway without:
-a DOT approved helmet (In Ontario in 2005 14% of fatal crashes were because the rider wasn't wearing a helmet, even though it has been mandatory in Ontario for 40 years)
-eye protection (unless your helmet has a shield) 
-full-fingered gloves
-long pants
-over-the-ankle boots

3. Ride Cautiously - One of the most important things to consider is bike maintenance, if somethings not up to standards or working properly, you probably shouldn't be riding.  

When on the road it is also important to keep in the proper lane position so drivers can see you and are discouraged from unsafely passing you.  When driving in traffic always keep a space cushion between you and the bike / vehicle in front of you (no matter how frustrated you are at them if there driving slow), this gives you more time to react and respond in any situation.  

4. THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Ride a bike your comfortable with and suits your skill level!

**A side note to all the Dads out there, including mine: the largest fatality increase has been in the 45-65 age group, which accounts for around half of motorcycle related fatalities, so you guys should be EXTRA safe :)

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