Motorcycle Season: Freedom of the Open Road on Two Wheels

Motorcycle Season: Freedom of the Open Road on Two Wheels

It’s the call of the open road and the promise of roadway freedom.  It’s the fresh air. The sounds and smells of the outdoors. Gasoline. Traffic. The sound of the wind whipping by.  It’s motorcycle season and for motorbike enthusiasts, it’s what they wait all winter long.

While biker gangs usually stipulate the beginning and end of riding season for their members, generally the average motorcyclist in Ontario uses a combination of temperature and road conditions as the guide as to when to start and stop motorcycle season.  In Ontario, this means motorcyclists of all sorts are generally on the road from spring through fall.  Highways and city streets are filled with Harley Davidson cruisers to sport bikes. (Did you know that “crotch rockets,” only started becoming popular in the 1980s? One of the first brands, the Ninja, is still the most well-known name brand today Before that, these modified street missiles were used for nothing more than professional racing on tracks. Nowadays they’re mostly used as everyday get-around motorcycles.)

Despite the joys of riding, riders of today face a much higher rate of danger while driving than they did a few years ago.  Motorcycle Accidents have risen due to distracted driving accident and cell phone usage. Trends in road rage have increased, self-driving cars are already malfunctioning and there has been a major increase in traffic congestion. Bikers have to be much more cautious while riding today.  Bike wrecks in Ontario often result in injury or death to the motorcyclist involved. There is no doubt that Ontario has some of the most highway rides in the Canada, but our roads can also be some of the most dangerous for motorcyclists.  We understand that it can be incredibly traumatic for both the rider and his or her loved one to be involved in a serious motorcycle accident. We know what you’re going through, and our Hamilton motorcycle accident lawyers will be there for you every step of the way.

Ontario Bikers – consider the following avoid a motorcycle accident:

  1. Get proper training.  You need to take a course to get licensed. Use this as an opportunity to really understand the rules of the road and how you can be a better rider.
  2. Check your safety gear. When motorcycle season rolls around, it is important your safety gear including helmets are in perfect condition.
  3. Don’t speed. You lose control as you go faster. Follow the rules of the road for your best chance at a safe ride.
  4. Be visible. Ensure the lights on your bike are in perfect working order.  Use reflectors on your clothing.
  5. Follow the rules of the road.  Just because you are on a bike does not mean traffic laws do not apply to you. Regardless of what other vehicles are doing, ride respectfully.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents:

After a motorcycle accident, other drivers will commonly say that they did not see the motorcycle on the road. Other factors, other than visibility or problems seeing the biker, that can lead to motorcycle accidents nclude:

  • Intersection Accidents (other vehicle)
  • Rear-end Collision (other vehicle)
  • Distracted Driving (other vehicle)
  • Poorly maintained roads (municipalities)
  • Unlit Train Track Crossings (municipalities)
  • Reckless driving (other vehicle)
  • Drunk driving (other vehicle)
  • Loose Gravel (Construction or Municipality)
  • Crashing into temporary signs (Construction or Municipality)
  • Transport Truck Blind Spot / Merging Over (other vehicle)
  • Drivers that are too old or that should not be driving (other vehicle)
  • Any other factor beyond your control

Ontario Motorcycle Laws – A few facts:

Ontario Motorcycle Helmet Laws

All passengers on a motorbike or motor-assisted bicycle must wear a safety helmet with a chin strap at all times.

Interesting Legal Fact – In 2011, a Sikh man in Ontario lost his challenge to his $100 ticket for not wearing a helmet. He argued the law was discriminatory under the Human Rights Code. The judge did not agree.  Interestingly, BC and Manitoba do allow devout Sikhs to be exempt from motorbike helmet laws.

Motorcycle Speakers & Headphones Laws

In Ontario, helmets with speakers, and ear pieces, are permitted; however, they can only be used for communication such as answering or ending a cell phone or two-way communication. It is not legal to listen to music while driving a motorcycle.

Motorcycle Handlebars

No part of the handlebar of the motorbike can exceed 14.96 inches above the uppermost portion of the operator’s seat when the seat is depressed by the weight of the operator. Handlebars must be maintained at all times. They should not be damaged or loose so as to interfere with the safety of the motorcycle. If deemed unsafe, the operator may be charged under Section 84 of the Highway Traffic Act and be liable for a fine between $400-$20,000 if convicted.

Motorbike Lights

A motorcycle must be equipped with two lights: one in the front that must be a white light and one in the rear that must be a red light.  Both the headlight and tail light must be on at all times when in gear.

Motorcycle Break Laws

A motorcycle must be equipped with two separate braking systems. One is used to operator the front wheel and the other stops the back wheel.

Motorcycle Muffler Laws

The muffler on a motorcycle must prevent excessive noise and smoke. How much is too much is at the discretion of the officer who pulls you over.  Generally, it is aftermarket mufflers that are prone to causing concern.

Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

Remember – if you or a loved one were hurt in a motorcycle accident because someone else was reckless or negligent, you may be able to obtain monetary compensation for the compensation to help you with your rehabilitation and reintegration into society.  Feel free to contact one of our experienced Hamilton motorcycle accident lawyers for more information and to get your case started.  If you or a loved one has suffered a life-changing injury in a motorbike accident, please feel free to give us a call at 905-333-8888, fill in a contact form or chat with our live operator, 24/7, who will be pleased to set up a free consultation, with no obligation to you or your family.  We will be happy talk about your injury, wrongful death, or disability case and help advise you of your best legal options.