Distracted driving is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents in Ontario. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and we are providing you with critical information to ensure your safety while riding.
In Ontario, texting while operating a motor vehicle or motorcycle is illegal and punishable under the Highway Traffic Act, yet the number of accidents and fatalities due to texting while riding continues to increase. Read below to find out more about the dangers of distracted driving.
Statistics and the Law
According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, deaths from collisions caused by distracted driving have doubled since 2000. While riding your motorcycle, it is illegal to:
- Use a phone or other hand-held wireless communication device to text or dial
- Use a hand-held electronic entertainment device
- View display screens unrelated to driving
- Program a GPS
What is Distracted Driving?
Essentially, distracted driving is any activity that could divert your attention away from riding. The main types of distracted driving include visual, manual, and cognitive. Besides texting while riding, there are other ways you can be distracted such as talking to your passenger, eating or smoking while riding, and adjusting a music player, to name just a few. Your best bet to ensure a safe ride is to always remain focused on the road ahead.
If You Ride a Motorcycle, You're at a Higher Risk
Since you are more exposed on a motorcycle compared to drivers in a vehicle, you are at an increased risk for suffering severe and fatal injuries from accidents and collisions; riding while distracted only increases this risk. The Canadian Medical Journal found that the risk of serious injury is ten time more severe and five times more likely to cause death for motorcyclists than it is for drivers of other vehicles.
Sharing the Road is Also Important
The importance of sharing the road is crucial to your safety. Since motorcycles are much smaller than motor vehicles, they are much more difficult to see in traffic, therefore, it’s important you remain visible. Continue reading for important tips!
7 Tips to Help You Stay Visible While Riding
- Wear bright colours so drivers can see you including brightly coloured safety gear.
- Ride a brightly coloured motorcycle.
- Don't ride in blind spots, avoid sudden turns, and always signal.
- Use your high beams, even during the day.
- Tap your brakes repeatedly when approaching an accident or emergency to alert the cars behind you.
- Don't be afraid to use your horn - this will help you be seen and heard.
- Use reflective tape which will help make you more visible at night.
Avoid becoming part of the fatal statistics by taking all the necessary precautions to ensure you are not distracted while riding. Your life depends on your ability to remain alert while riding your motorcycle!