Approaching motorcycle may be closer than you think

AMA advises drivers to take extra care during motorcycle season

With temperatures on the rise, Albertans are dusting off their motorcycles and hitting the streets to get the most out of motorcycle season. It’s also a good time to remind drivers to take extra care around motorcyclists.

“Motorcycles are more vulnerable as they aren’t as visible as a car and they also need enough room to manoeuvre, brake, and come to a complete stop,” says Rick Lang of AMA’s Driver Education. “As motorcyclists are completely exposed, the impact of a collision can be serious. It benefits us all to be alert behind the wheel, particularly now as motorcycles start to return to the roads.”

According to Alberta Transportation between 2010 and 2014, 3,323 motorcyclists were involved in casualty collisions. These collisions resulted in 153 deaths and 3,440 injuries. Every driver can play a role in preventing future collisions and keeping our roads safe. Lang offers the following tips:

  • Proceed with caution when turning left. The number one cause of motorcycle-to-vehicle collisions is drivers turning left and underestimating the speed of the oncoming motorcycle.
  • Don’t underestimate a motorcycle’s speed – its smaller size may make it seem like it’s going slower than it is.
  • Always check your blind spot. A motorcycle is smaller than a car and may not appear in your side mirror. Always check your blind spot when passing or merging.
  • Keep a safe distance. Motorcycles may take longer to come to a complete stop. Always leave enough room between you and the motorcycle – about three to four seconds following distance in ideal conditions, more in poor road conditions.
  • Leave space when you stop on a hill. A motorcyclist may roll back and need a little extra space to get going when stopped on a hill.
  • Be patient. Bad weather, slippery roads, gravel roads, potholes or other adverse road conditions have a greater impact on motorcycles. Give them room to navigate.

“We all share the responsibility for keeping our roads safe, and if we remember that right-of-way is always given, never taken, we can help reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries,” said Lang.


The Alberta Motor Association (AMA) is among the largest membership organizations in Alberta, representing more than 975,000 members. As a leading advocate for traffic safety, travel and consumer protection and crime prevention, AMA represents the interests of its members to industry and all levels of government and helps protect the things they care about most. Visit ama.ab.ca to learn more.