Motorcycles make up less than 3% of insured vehicles in British Columbia. However, at least 10% of the lives lost in road accidents in the province each year involve accidents with motorcycles. This does not necessarily mean motorcyclists are negligent because motorists are often the responsible parties in bike vs. car accidents.
Reasons for the high number of motorcycle fatalities
The two wheels of a motorcycle give bikers half the tire traction enjoyed by drivers of larger passenger vehicles. And maintaining balance on two wheels requires a lot of skill. Vehicle drivers frequently fail to see motorcycles because of the size difference. Even when they see bikers, many drivers find it difficult to gauge their speed and distance.
Motorcycles lack protection
Motorcycles offer none of the protective features cars have – such as seat belts, airbags and the protection offered by the car’s body. In contrast, motorcyclists have only their helmets and riding gear between them and the road surface.
Although the law mandates helmets for motorcyclists and their passengers, there is no guarantee that helmets save lives. Helmets protect the heads of riders from penetration wounds, but they do not prevent riders’ brains from smashing into the skull’s hard interior and often causing catastrophic injuries. Similarly, most riders are thrown from their motorcycles upon impact, and the resulting road rash is often life-threatening.
Damage recovery after motorcycle accidents
Motorcyclists’ vulnerability puts them at high risk of suffering personal injury, or even death. If you are involved in an accident while travelling south of the border, damage recovery could be complicated. Insurance and legal proceedings of the jurisdictions on both sides of the border could be involved.