Motorcycles are returning to Southwestern Ontario roads
OPP are urging drivers to be aware of their two-wheeled road companions
Spring marks the return of motorcycles of all shapes and sizes on city streets and highways across southwestern Ontario.
Riders have been counting down the days to clear roads all winter and while they return to the rush of hitting the asphalt on two wheels, police are reminding them to keep safety top of mind.
"You really need to think defensively," said Derek Rogers, a media relations officer for West Region OPP.
"It's paramount in reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries on our roads and highways."
Keep yourself visible
Motorcycle riders should wear bright colours so they can be seen by other motorists, Rogers said.
"One of the common things that we hear from drivers who have been in collision with motorcycles is 'I didn't see them'," said Rogers.
"That's where it can really make a difference, if the rider is wearing something highly visible."
Drivers should also be aware that they're sharing the road with people who are far more vulnerable than they are, Rogers said.
Road conditions can also be particularly hazardous for bikes with pot holes, gravel and grit left over from the winter.
"It can cause a loss of control, which is the biggest contributing factor to motorcycle fatalities," said Rogers.
"When you have that loss of control, you're highly vulnerable and it's a dangerous situation."
West region tops motorcycle collision fatalities
In 2017, there was a record 48 deaths across Ontario as a result of collisions involving motorcycles, with 18 deaths in the west region.
While statistics for 2018 were slightly lower, Rogers says it's still a disturbing trend.
"About half of the motorcycle fatalities are men between the age of 45 to 64," he said.
"There's some demographic issues at play there, where perhaps you haven't had a bike for several years, you had a family and now you have some disposable income and you get out there."
Anyone who hasn't been on a bike for a number of years should consider taking a motorcycle training course before they hit the road, Rogers said.