Ready to hit the road? So are 708,700 motorcyclists in Canada
If the summer of 2021 is going to be remembered for anything, it could be as the Summer of Motorcycles.
What’s not to love? The open road. The steady thrumming of an engine. The smear of bugs on your visor. And the constant and very real danger posed by other motorists.
Why is that so important this year? According to the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC), sales are up by more than 75 per cent – with the vast majority being new riders, women and empty-nesters seeking a road out of lockdown. That’s a good thing for the economy, with more than $2.68 billion in sales and related purchases, including travel and accommodations. And, for CAA Plus® and Premier® Members, Membership also covers roadside assistance for motorcycles running into problems.
The downside is that, due to the pandemic, there are fewer in-person motorcycle safety school programs available. More inexperienced riders means a greater risk of incidents.
That’s why May’s theme for the MCC’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Canada and the United States is 'Watch out for Each Other,' says MCC Chair, Chris Bourque.
“For the past five years our message to riders and drivers is that motorcycle safety is everyone’s responsibility. For 2021 we encourage all on road and off-road users to ‘Watch Out For Each Other’. Rather than adding to people’s sense of anxiety and feeling like we are being told what to do, we simply ask that everyone doubles down on being safe,” he says.
The MCC advocates nationally for better road safety awareness by drivers of vehicles and motorcycles, on and off road.
Here are some safety rules for motorcyclist riders and drivers.
- Take a second look to better judge the speed and distance of a motorcyclist in your vicinity.
- Always check mirrors and blind spots, especially before turning or changing lanes.
- Allow extra room to avoid cutting off a motorcyclist and allow extra space when driving behind a motorcycle.
- Experienced riders can watch out for new riders by encouraging them to ride safely, ride within their skill limits, and according to the road conditions.
- New riders should be encouraged to wear “ATGATT” (All the gear, all the time).
For CAA, road safety has always been a major focus of public advocacy, notes Jeff Walker, President and CEO of CAA North & East Ontario. “Our part of Ontario is ideal for exploring on motorcycles, both on and off-road. But as we plan our summer road trips, whether it’s through Algonquin Park or just up to the cottage, we encourage all motorists to drive safe and be aware.”