Fatal motorcycle accidents prompt safety reminders
For the second time in as many days, a motorcyclist died in a fatal crash in the Lower Mainland Saturday night.
The victim, a man in his 50s, lost control of his motorcycle and slammed into a cement post while exiting Highway 1 in Chilliwack, police said. He died at the scene.
Police said two separate motorcycles were traveling together on the highway. They took the eastbound exit at Prest Road shortly after 7 p.m., when the accident occurred.
On Friday, a motorcycle collided with a delivery truck near 12th Street and Stewardson Way in New Westminster at roughly 8:45 a.m. The person driving the motorcycle died at the scene of that accident as well.
The two incidents happened during beautiful weather conditions for riding, and as the weather warms up, more and more motorcyclists are expected to take to the streets.
This has experts advising both drivers and riders to take extra precautions on the roads this summer.
Lee Heaver, owner of 1st Gear Motorcycle in Richmond, spent his Sunday teaching new motorcyclists what to look for when on the road. His school for new riders is busiest at this time of year, he said.
In a decade of riding, Heaver has seen his share of bad crashes, and he estimates that 90 per cent of them are the result of rider error.
“You absolutely have to be cautious out there,” he told CTV News. “Especially since its just you and the motorcycle. But you also have to be confident as well. And you get that confidence from more education, more practice and riding within your limits.”
Heaver said motorcyclists have to make sure they’re aware of their surroundings at all times. Even something as mundane as a pothole can cause a problem if it’s hidden by the car in front of you until the last moment, he said.
As for drivers, the best thing they can do to ensure the safety of motorcyclists is make sure they check blind spots for riders they may have missed in their mirrors, Heaver said.
“Complacency and distraction are very common with driving a car,” he said.
But that doesn’t mean he’s blaming drivers for serious motorcycle accidents.
“If you’re out there riding and a car does cut you off, the car is absolutely at fault,” Heaver said. “But being a motorcyclist, you need to recognize those situations and move ahead of them or behind them … You can’t be complacent when you ride a motorcycle.”
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Michele Brunoro