Majority of Motorcycle Fatalities Taking Place on Rural Roadways

Fatal motorcycle crashes are on the rise on Manitoba’s rural public roadways. Last year, 71 per cent of all fatal motorcycle collisions took place on rural public roadways, compared to 29 per cent on urban public roadways. This is a 13 per cent increase from the 5-year average of 58 per cent.

Over the last two years, 15 motorcyclists have been killed on public roadways and nearly 300 injured.

“Speed is a contributing factor in the severity of the crash,” Satvir Jatana, vice-president, Employee and Community Engagement, Manitoba Public Insurance. “While 40 per cent of these fatal crashes were single-vehicle, another 60 per cent involved a second vehicle.

“Mutual respect on our roadways is paramount if we’re going to see a reduction in these motorcycle fatality numbers. Many of these deaths could have been prevented and many were directly attributed to high-risk driving behaviour.”

National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month which Manitoba Public Insurance fully supports. In an effort to heighten road safety awareness between drivers of vehicles and motorcyclists, Manitoba’s public auto insurer has launched its public awareness campaign “Watch For Motorcycles”.

“This year our focus was personalizing our safety messaging. One ad has a young girl saying her dad rides a motorcycle; or a husband saying his wife rides a motorcycle and a dog saying his human rides a motorcycle. People can easily relate to this message with hopes everyone takes a safety role.”

“It’s important that we change the conversation about traffic safety in our province and create a culture where all road users have mutual respect for each other,” said Jatana. “For drivers this means acknowledging that motorcyclists have every right to use our roads safely, as do cyclists and pedestrians.”

Safety tips

For motorcyclists:

  • Wear the right gear, including an approved safety helmet, eye protection, jacket, pants and boots.
  • Try to be highly visible whenever possible by wearing bright or fluorescent colours such as yellow, red or orange to enhance visibility.
  • Ride with your headlight on and in a position on the roadway where you are visible to motorists and out of their blind spots.

For drivers:

  • Always look twice when changing lanes and at intersections to be sure there isn’t a motorcycle or moped in the blind spot.
  • Watch for signals. It may be hard to see a motorcycle or moped’s turning signal so watch for other signs like shoulder checking which can indicate the rider is planning to change lanes or turn.
  • Keep your distance. Motorcycles and mopeds may stop faster than other vehicles. Maintain a following distance of at least four seconds and increase this distance at night or when it’s raining.

About Motorcycle Safety Month: This safety initiative is promoted in Canada by the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada, which includes the Coalition of Manitoba Motorcycle Groups. As part of Motorcycle Safety Month, people can show their support by taking the #MotorcycleSafetyPledge:


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