We all know that part of owning a motorcycle is the freedom and excitement you feel as the wind blows through your hair while you stream across the highway. We get it, and it’s this deeply alluring image that appeals to many and encourages many to begin the process of getting their first motorcycle. If you’re looking to start riding, this blog will detail some of the common dangers and how to mitigate them so you can ride safely.
How to stay safe while riding your motorcycle this summer.
In 2019, 4% of motorcycle crashes were fatal, and 66% ended in injury. We want to keep you and other motorcyclists safe, so you can look like James Dean for years to come. Our goal is to have safer roads and no fatalities. Follow this guide for your safest ride.
- Wear your gear
Full body protection might feel hot in the prairie sunshine, but it is critical to protect your body from harm in the event of a crash. We recommend wearing long pants and a jacket made of a durable material such as leather or a synthetic such as Kevlar. These materials are designed to provide protection from abrasion if you fall from your bike.
It is important to note that all motorcycle drivers in the Motorcycle Graduated Driver Licensing (MGDL) program and the passengers of operators in the Novice 2 stage must wear gloves while operating a motorcycle vehicle. Gloves can increase your grip strength as well as protect your wrists and hands from injury.
Find a good pair of boots to protect your ankles and feet from harm whether you’re in an accident or need to come to an abrupt stop. Your legs and feet are typically at more risk of injury because bikes can fall over onto you in an accident. This is why it is essential to choose a bike that you can lift and handle easily.
- Wear a proper helmet
While it might seem annoying or overly cautious to wear a certified helmet, it is not without cause that SGI specifically requires riders to wear DOT/SAE certified helmets. It is important to remember that SGI does not allow the half helmet style regardless of its certification. Drivers and passengers must wear a full face, modular, or ¾ style helmet that is securely fastened and well-fitting. Helmets should be snug while allowing for good airflow. A loose-fitting helmet is most likely to come off in an accident, leaving you and any passenger vulnerable to fatalities or severe brain injuries.
- Be Visible
Wearing high-visibility clothing can help other drivers see you more easily. This is imperative, as drivers of cars are disproportionately responsible for collisions involving motorcycles.
- Never drive under the influence
This should go without saying, but it is important to be alert and present while operating your motorcycle. In addition, there is a zero-tolerance policy for drivers moving through the MGDL program for both drivers and their passengers. Both marijuana and alcohol impair your cognition, even if it is only a small amount.
- Avoid bad weather
In Saskatchewan, the weather can seem to change on a dime, but checking ahead can save you a terrifying ride. Oil slicks and tire rubber on pavement can become like black ice in the rain, and these adverse conditions can be deadly for motorcyclists. Always check ahead, and never attempt to drive in inclement weather if you feel uncertain about your capacity.
- Always be alert
Many drivers do not obey traffic laws as we are all too aware. Many drivers can miss a signal while changing lanes, fail to shoulder check or turn left quickly without always being aware of oncoming traffic. These negligent or distracted driving acts are always dangerous, but they can be especially dangerous for a motorcyclist, as you are often harder to see. It is imperative that you be alert and present while driving, as many accidents are the result of non-motorcyclists.
Why is motorcycle insurance so expensive in Saskatchewan?
While it might seem expensive to insure your motorcycle in Saskatchewan, it’s cheaper than many places with private insurance. Unlike non-crown insurance companies that operate to generate a profit, the Saskatchewan Auto Fund works on a self-sustaining basis, allowing you to have cheaper rates overall. In addition, your rates are determined only by your driving record and vehicle type––not by your age, gender, or where you live. By excluding these factors, we can ensure less expensive insurance rates for everyone across the board and offer rewards for safe driving.
We use the Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR) to assess the premiums of each vehicle type. This system looks at the make, model, and year and assesses the expected number of claims and cost per claim of these vehicles, as well as the probability the vehicle will be stolen. A lower risk of a claim means lower rates, and a higher risk of a claim means higher rates—unfortunately, motorcycles rate as relatively high risk. In addition, motorcycles are more likely to be totaled even in a light collision as they are more exposed.
How can you save money on your motorcycle insurance in Saskatchewan?
There are a number of ways to make your insurance costs less expensive. The first way is to maintain a safe driving record, which discounts your annual driver’s licence costs. In addition, you can choose the length of time you insure your bike, and carry an Auto Extension policy to make your yearly insurance costs less expensive. The Auto Extension policy will add additional coverage while your bike is in use and it will also cover your bike while it is stored in the off-season (even if it is unplated).
We’re here for your motorcycle insurance and to encourage motorcycle safety.
At Kessler, we know how good it feels to be on Saskatchewan’s open highways with the prairie wind rushing past you––that’s why we walk you through all your motorcycle insurance needs. Whether you’re new and starting your graduated driver’s program, or a seasoned motorcyclist heading to Sturgis with your friends, we have your insurance needs covered. Talk to us today, and be safe out there.