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Motorcycle safety tips for Vancouver riders

For motorcycle enthusiasts here in British Columbia, autumn is the perfect season to take to the highways and byways. One of the most scenic routes you can ride is the serpentine Sea-to-Sky Highway stretching from Vancouver all the way to Pemberton.

Just a little over a decade ago, this route was considered to be quite hazardous for motorcycle riding. However, back in 2010, the road — Hwy. 99 — was improved and is considered to be much safer. But because riding a motorcycle is an inherently dangerous pastime, below are some tips that Vancouver riders might find to be useful.

Be as visible as possible

While there is no denying there is a certain appeal to wearing dark or black leather gear while riding, that type of apparel does nothing to raise your visibility profile on the road. Remaining visible to motorists is the most important thing riders can do to keep themselves safer on two wheels.

Staying highly visible while riding your motorcycle can do much to combat the phenomenon of inattentional blindness. That is the term for drivers’ propensity to unintentionally fail to see the motorcyclists that share the road with them.

Wear a helmet for each ride

If there is a single element of your riding gear that can do the most to protect you if you have an accident, it is your motorcycle helmet. Even if you only plan to ride around the block to test a new exhaust pipe, don’t ever forget to don your helmet.

Don’t listen to music or podcasts while riding

Yes, you may want to crank up “Born to Be Wild” while you get your motor running and head out on the highway. But listening to tunes or podcasts obscures one of the senses that can keep you safer on your ride through BC — your hearing. Riding safer means relying on all your senses. That can even include that elusive sixth sense that can alert you to potential problems on the road ahead.

Understand that accidents do happen

Regardless of how safe of a motorcycle rider you are, it is an unfortunate fact that bikers get into wrecks despite their best efforts. When your pleasant ride unexpectedly turns into your worst nightmare, seeking immediate medical care is your first priority.

Later, you will likely want to look into seeking compensation from the at-fault driver who caused your injuries and the damage to your bike.