British Columbia

Motorcycle crash injuries on the rise in B.C., says ICBC

May is motorcycle safety awareness month, and instructors want riders to know that incidents have been on the upswing since 2011.

Injured victims from motorcycle incidents climb to 1,600 in 2016

The victim, who was riding the motorcycle pictured here after the crash on Old Yale Road in Abbotsford B.C., was taken to hospital, but died of his injuries shortly after arriving. (Shane MacKichan)

The number of B.C. motorcyclists injured in crashes is on the rise, according to the most recent data from ICBC.

More than 1,600 motorcyclists were injured in 2,600 separate incidents last year, up from 1,500 in 2015. Thirty-two motorcyclists died in 2015 as a result of crashes.

According to ICBC road safety manager Mark Milner, the recent trends are alarming.

"In the last few years, we have seen an increasing number of crashes involving motorcycles, and we've seen the number of injuries going up as well," he said. 

Milner says accidents generally surge in the spring and into the summer — a time of year when many riders decide to hit the road.

In July and August, an average of six motorcyclists are injured each day in B.C.

Tips for drivers

May is motorcycle awareness month, and Milner is urging drivers to be conscious of motorcycles on the road.

"In the majority of multi-vehicle collisions, the other vehicle is at fault, rather than the motorcycle."

ICBC tips include:

  • Give extra space when passing a motorcycle.
  • Scan intersections for motorcyclists (the majority of motorcycle incidents occur at intersections, especially when drivers are turning left).
  • Leave your phone alone.
  • If in doubt about who has the right-of-way, yield to the motorcycle.

Tips for motorcyclists

However, motorcyclists are also often at fault in collisions. Milner says motorcyclists can take precautions:

  • Wear all gear, all the time, including a helmet that meets DOT, Snell or ECE safety standards and safety gear designed for riding.
  • Be bright and visible.
  • Manoeuvre intersections safely, especially when oncoming traffic is turning left.
  • Never assume a driver has seen you. Keep your distance and reduce speed.