ICBC warns motorcyclists and drivers to use extra caution this summer

VANCOUVER, April 29, 2005 – With the arrival of summer weather conditions
in most regions of the province this month, it means more motorists and
more types of vehicles will be on the road — including motorcycles. It also
means more risk of serious injury or death for motorcyclists. Almost 80 per
cent of the yearly injuries and deaths involving motorcycles take place from
May through September, according to police-reported collision data.

“Driving safely and using extra caution is important for all road users —
including motorcyclists — as we head into these busy summer months on
BC roads,” points out Greg Wirch, ICBC provincial loss prevention program
manager. “Severe crashes often occur at intersections. We’re asking
motorists to be extra careful when making turns and motorcyclists to slow
down and be more visible.”

Motorcycles are over-represented in fatal and injury crash incidents. In
2003, motorcycles represented just over one per cent of all insured vehicles,
but motorcyclists accounted for about seven per cent of all fatal victims.

Motorcycles are more likely to be involved in a fatal or injury crash
incident than any other motorized vehicle type.

“Like cyclists and pedestrians, motorcyclists are vulnerable road users —
they don’t have air bags, seat belts, or bumpers to protect them,” Wirch

“Also, it’s often difficult for motorists to judge the proper distance when
small vehicles such as motorcycles are approaching, particularly when
turning left. Drivers and motorcyclists should be looking out for each other
at all times.”

Safety tips for other motorists:

  • Be extra cautious for motorcyclists, especially when turning at intersections.

  • Actively look for motorcyclists in traffic. Remember, motorcycles are small and often difficult to see in the mix of traffic.

  • Make eye contact with the rider whenever possible.

Safety tips for motorcyclists:

  • Remember, riding at an unsafe speed puts you at greater risk of crash and injury.

  • Slow down when approaching intersections.

  • Never assume other motorists see you.

  • Wear bright and reflective clothing. Add extra reflective material to your clothing or wear a reflective vest.


  • In BC in 2003, there were approximately 2,000 crash incidents reported to ICBC involving motorcycles. Of that total, there were 33 police-reported fatal crashes and 1,000 ICBC-reported crashes involving an injury.

  • Single-vehicle motorcycle crashes tend to occur in rural undeveloped areas, at higher speeds, and at curves where the driver loses control and leaves the roadway.

  • Multi-vehicle motorcycle-involved crashes tend to occur in urban areas, at lower speeds, and at intersections where the driver of the other vehicle violates a motorcyclist’s right of way or fails to notice the motorcyclist.

  • In 2003, motorcycles represented about 1.3 per cent of all insured vehicles; however, motorcyclists accounted for approximately 7.1 per cent of all fatal victims.

  • Motorcycles are 15 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash incident, and three times more likely to be involved in an injury crash incident than any other motorized vehicle type.

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