Alberta sees 90 per cent rise in motorcycle fatalities in 2020, Calgary firm says

Motorcyclists face risks like lack of protection, high speed, higher chances of losing control

Alberta sees 90 per cent rise in motorcycle fatalities in 2020, Calgary firm says
May is deemed Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Last year, Alberta saw a 90 per cent increase in motorcycle fatalities with 21 deaths, a blog post written on behalf of Cuming & Gillespie has said, up from 11 fatalities in 2019 and 16 fatalities in 2018.

Of the 21 deaths in motorcycle collisions in 2020, 20 were drivers while one was a passenger, and 70 per cent of the accidents were single-vehicle collisions allegedly caused by speeding, stunting or loss of control, said Marty Forbes of the Alberta Motorcycle Safety Society in a news article in the Edmonton Journal.

Forbes told the Edmonton Journal that, last year, more motorcycles were purchased and that common causes of motorcycle collisions included distracted driving and instances when drivers took left-hand turns.

The Alberta Motorcycle Safety Society launched a public service campaign on May 2, in time for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

The blog post of Cuming & Gillespie, a Calgary-based personal injury firm, said that, while drivers may enjoy the thrill of riding a motorcycle, they also face risks caused by the lack of protection of a car body, high speeds and higher chances of losing control and colliding.

Motorcycle accidents often lead to more serious injuries than motor vehicle accidents, including a disproportionate number of catastrophic injuries to motorcyclists, including brain damage, broken bones, paralysis and death, said the blog post.

The blog post said that motorcyclists enjoy the same rights and freedoms as other motor vehicle drivers, with injured motorcyclist entitled to seek responsibility and compensation from the parties who have been established to be negligent, including other drivers involved, the provincial or municipal government if it has poorly designed or maintained roads and/or the motorcycle manufacturer if it is responsible for defective vehicle design or manufacturing.

To establish the negligence of these parties, the motorcyclist should show that they caused the accident by behaving carelessly, recklessly or in a manner that is different from how a reasonable individual is expected to act in a similar situation, said the blog post.

The blog post listed suggested safety tips for car and truck drivers to avoid motorcycle collisions, noting that the safety of motorcyclists is also their responsibility.

The blog post said that May is considered Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which is a time for all motorists, including drivers of cars, trucks and motorcycles, to educate themselves about promoting safety on the province’s roads.

“Whether a collision is caused by the driver of another vehicle, road conditions, or a mistake on the rider’s part, at the end of the day it is often the rider and their family that pay the most significant price,” said Dale Seddon, traffic section sergeant.

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