Despite advancements in safety features for all vehicles, motorcycle riders like Brent Mulligan said the roads have never been more dangerous since he started driving motorcycles over 30 years ago.

“It’s definitely worse now. I mean, when I started riding, there weren’t cell phones,” Mulligan said.

Mulligan adds that, beyond the issue of distracted driving, not every crash is the fault of people behind a wheel.

“I wouldn’t put it all on the car drivers, right? A lot of times where I see incidents happen or close calls, often it’s the motorcycles driving way too fast,” Mulligan said.

Mulligan joined approximately 100,000 people for Friday the 13th celebrations in Port Dover this week.

The ride was largely successful, but police reported a fatal collision involving a motorcycle in the area on Friday, as well as three other nearby crashes in the same day.

Police reported another motorcycle crash in Brantford on Saturday, which sent one person to hospital. Officers want drivers of all vehicles to slow down and pay attention.

“Unfortunately, every time we deal with a crash, speed is normally involved. You take speed, alcohol, you take the seatbelts, you take distracted driving out of the equation. Everyone should be able to get to where they’re going safely,” Ed Sanchuk with the Ontario Provincial Police said.“I heard several times yesterday that some motorcycle operators were blocking intersections. That’s very dangerous to do that. If a motor vehicle doesn’t see you, they’re going to run into you and you’re putting yourself in unnecessary harm.”

According to Mulligan, he tried to ride with awareness, not assuming that all drivers are watching for motorcycles on the road.

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“I don’t assume that someone’s going to see me or they’re going to see my signal or break for me, so if I’m turning, you need to watch in all directions,” Mulligan said.

Experts say it is important drivers know some of the key safety habits of motorcycle riders, like trying to keep a safe distance either ahead or behind a vehicle.

“Do not try to pass or keep up to speed with them. They are trying to make sure that they are staying out of your blind spot and so that they can remain visible,” Erin Mitchell, General Manager of Blackbridge Harley Davidson said.

The Canadian Automobile Association said there seems to be more people starting to learn to drive motorcycles since the pandemic started, and encourages safety training even for more experienced riders.

“A refresher course is always really good as a motorcyclist. Definitely make sure you’ve got the right gear on. Obviously, a really good fitted helmet is important,” Teresa Di Felice, Assistant Vice President of Government and Community Relations with CAA South Central Ontario said. “Motorcycles can go and maneuver at a little bit different speeds. You don’t want to be cutting off a motorcyclist. So give lots of space.”


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