Motorcycle Safety: Safety Topics - May 2018 - Week 2


Monday - Motorcycle Safety

Riding a motorcycle is always a high risk activity so the thought of safety first must be present in every ride. When riding, the risk of collision is greater; therefore, the probability of getting into an accident is higher and injuries may be more severe. Being a new rider increases the chances of collision due to inexperience in safe riding. 

Here are some statistics from the Alberta Government on motorcycle related accidents and injury that occur on average:

  • The accidents surveyed resulted in 42 fatalities and 852 injuries.
  • Motorcycle riders under the age of 25, particularly the 16 to 17 age group, had the highest involvement rate per 1,000 licensed drivers.
  • The most common improper actions of motorcycle riders were running off the road (45%), following too closely (18%), or passing unsafely (8%).
  • Compared to other vehicle crashes, motorcycle accidents were most likely to involve alcohol.
  • Weather was not the cause of 85% of these accidents.

Remember, riding a motorcycle is not like driving a car or riding a bicycle!

Tuesday - Preparing to Ride

Protect your head, eyes and face!

Helmet Safety Standards 

  • Always wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. Even if the law states that you don’t need to wear a helmet, it is always good practice to do so for your own safety.
  • Wear the proper helmet! A helmet does no good if it can’t protect you in the situation you need it to.

Types of Helmets:

  • Full Coverage or Full Face
    • Prvides the best protection for the entire head
    • Prtects the ears and base of the skull
    • Shields eyes and prtects the chin and lower face
  • Three Quarter Coverage Helmet
    • Prvides good protection for top, sides, and back of head
    • Prtects ears and the base of the skull
    • Face shield ption
  • One Half Coverage or aka Skull Cap 
    • Prvides limited head protection
      • Face, chin, and the base of the skull are not protected
      • No protection from weather

Wednesday - Dressing for the Weather

When riding, clothing should be worn in layers so that you can adjust to changing weather conditions. 


  • Body loses heat faster than it can generate it.
  • Can occur on warm days due to wind and wind chill.
  • Chilling causes your reflexes slow down and also cause you to lose the ability to concentrate and respond to traffic conditions.


  • Heat causes perspiration that you may not notice and wind blowing over the skin will dry it right away.
  • Not replenishing lost water can quickly cause dehydration.
  • When planning on riding for long periods of time, take frequent rest stops and drink plenty of water.

Thursday - Responsible Riding

Physical and Mental Fitness:

  • Never ride under the influence of drugs and alcohol. 
  • If taking medications, be aware of their affects and check with your family doctor if they will affect riding or driving.
  • Do not ride when you are stressed out or tired.
  • Avoid becoming too cold or hot.


Do not do the following while on a motorcycle:

  • Answer or make phone calls - this includes hand free calling!
  • Text
  • Take pictures or use a camera
  • Adjust music stations
  • GPS tracking – stop and program at a safe place on the side of the road

Friday - Free Speech Friday

Today is my free speech Friday that I want to share with everyone about motorcycle safety and why it means so much to me. My mom’s much younger sister, whom has always been more like a much older sister to me than an Aunt, was seriously injured while riding. It was February 27, 2009. It’s when things like this happen that those dates forever burn a memory in your mind. My Aunt and Uncle were leaving on vacation to Florida and were taking their Harleys with them. I was pregnant with my first child and her due date was Feb 17, 2009, of course being extremely overdue, my aunt had called me just before they left and said “I don’t care what time that baby is born, 3 am! You call me!” Well out of all the late night phone calls, you wish they were ones of happiness and joy. But not today, In the state of Florida it is not required for you, by law to wear a helmet. So, that day they chose to go on a short ride and go shopping with no helmets. It was a quick trip to waste some time. They were planning on meeting up with friends later go for supper and a show. Its late afternoon and traffic is picking up, and of course there is always road construction going on. One of the construction companies forgot a 5 gallon pail full of concrete on the road and they swerved to miss it. My Uncle looked back in the mirror to make sure the people behind them missed it as well. Meanwhile the vehicle in front of them slammed on their brakes. While my uncle looked down my Aunt watched forward and yelled at him to stop it was too late. She hung on to that back with all her power that she actually tore the seat right off the bike. My uncle had a broken shoulder and some broken ribs. My Aunt however, suffered severe brain trauma, she was in a coma for 3 months and they had to remove a piece of the skull to relieve the brain swelling. Today, my Uncle has given her the best quality of life she can. She is very mobile, but has lots of cognitive difficulties and very hard to understand her speech. They travel the US together in their motorhome for the winter and during the summer they are at home here in Canada where she participates at a government funded program called BIRD – Brain Injury Rehabilitation Development. She doesn’t remember the accident but she knows that she has changed and that she is not capable of the things she use to do. It has altered all of our lives and I know myself I do not look at motorcycles the same way. I will ride with my husband but I will never ride on my own due to my fear, I know I am not mental capable for the task.

Tags: safety topics , injury prevention , personal home safety ,

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