Hit enter after type your search item
Home / Discover / Life / How to safely ride a motorcycle in Alberta

How to safely ride a motorcycle in Alberta


Motorcycle riding can be thrilling, but it carries risks due to the bike’s vulnerability on the road. Understanding road rules is just as important as mastering bike controls. Alberta has specific laws governing motorcycle use to ensure rider safety and that of others on the road.

Here are some essential tips on how to safely drive a motorcycle in Alberta. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or new to motorcycles, these tips provide valuable insights into Alberta’s motorcycle laws and regulations.

Get your operating license

In Alberta, if you want to ride a motorcycle, you’ll need a Class 6 operator’s license, which is separate from a regular driver’s license. To get this license, you have to pass a written knowledge test, a vision test, and a road test. The Alberta Motorcycle Operator’s Handbook is a great tool to help you study for these tests.

If you’re new to riding motorcycles, it’s a good idea to sign up for a rider training program. These programs give you practical experience and teach you important safety practices. You can check this out to get your driving knowledge tested.

Use protective gear

In Alberta, it’s the law for motorcyclists and passengers to wear helmets that meet specific safety standards outlined in the Vehicle Equipment Regulation. These helmets must be certified by CSA, DOT, Snell, or BSI.

Additionally, riders are strongly advised to wear extra protective gear like eye protection, sturdy clothing, gloves, and boots. Wearing the right gear can greatly improve safety in case of an accident.

Always choose a well-fitting DOT-approved helmet and a protective jacket with padding to absorb impacts. Durable materials like leather or Kevlar in gloves, boots, and pants can offer added protection during high-speed accidents or slides.

Pay attention to small details

To ride your motorcycle safely, pay attention to the small details and subtle changes in the behavior of the cars around you. For example, instead of relying solely on turn signals, watch how a car’s wheels move to anticipate its next move.

At intersections or stoplights, drivers often slightly turn their steering wheel when preparing to turn. Even if they forget to use their signals, this subtle movement can give you a clue about their intentions. By noticing these details, you can better predict what other drivers will do and adjust your own actions accordingly.

Stay completely alert when you ride

When you’re on your motorcycle, stay alert from start to finish. Keep an eye out for other vehicles around you. If the road ahead looks iffy, hold off on moving forward. Safety is super important when you’re sharing the road, so make sure other drivers can see you and that you can see them.

For instance, if you feel like you’re getting too close to the car in front but they’re not hitting the brakes, slow down and be careful. Maybe their brake lights aren’t working right, and you might think they’re still cruising along. To be safe, keep a good 3-4 second gap between you and the car ahead. If you see that gap shrinking, give yourself enough time to slow down or change lanes.

Always watch out for other drivers and be ready for sudden turns. Whether you’re turning right or waiting for someone to turn left, assume they might not see you. It’s a good idea to make eye contact with them to make sure they notice you. When you lock eyes, it helps them realize you’re there, and they might signal for you to go ahead or make your turn.

Because motorcycles are smaller, they can easily disappear in a driver’s blind spot. Stay alert, and use your mirrors to keep track of nearby vehicles. Avoid riding in wet or icy conditions, and adjust your riding for any poor weather.

Stay out of blind spots

When driving next to a car, make sure you avoid their blind spot. You can do this by either speeding up to become visible through their window or slowing down to stay within view through their side mirrors.

When you’re behind a vehicle, make sure you can see the driver in their left mirror. If you can see them, they can probably see you. But tinted windows can make it tough. Imagine being in their place: Would you see yourself? If they took a photo, would you be in it?

Think about how to make yourself more visible, like by adjusting your position or signaling clearly. This way, you’ll ensure that the driver can always see you, whether you’re ahead or behind them.

Use brake carefully

Always keep your brake levers covered while riding. This means having one, two, three, or all four fingers on your front brake lever and your toes on the brake pedal with your right foot.

By doing this, you can reduce the time it takes to apply the brakes in an emergency by about half a second. In city speeds, that’s approximately seven meters, and on the highway, it’s almost 14 meters. This simple habit could be the key to safely stopping your motorcycle and avoiding accidents.

Make a checklist

Always perform a pre-ride check before riding your bike. This includes inspecting fluids, tires, lights/signals, chains, and the overall condition of the motorcycle. You can find a helpful checklist in the Alberta Transportation Rider’s Guide.

Follow the Alberta driving rules

Motorcyclists in Alberta must abide by the same traffic laws as other road users. However, there are certain rules unique to motorcyclists:

  • Lane Sharing: Riding side-by-side with another motorcycle in the same lane is not permitted in Alberta. However, two motorcycles can ride staggered within the lane.
  • Lane Splitting: It is illegal in Alberta for motorcycles to ride between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic.
  • Carrying passengers: Passengers are allowed only on motorcycles explicitly designed for more than one person. These motorcycles must have designated seats and footrests for passengers. Passengers under 18 years old are required to wear a helmet.
  • Carrying cargo: Regarding cargo, any items transported on a motorcycle must be securely fastened and should not impede the rider’s ability to control the motorcycle.
  • Headlights and Taillights: Your motorcycle is required to have at least one headlight and one taillight. These lights must remain switched on whenever the motorcycle is in operation.
  • Reflectors: Motorcycles must be equipped with at least one red reflector positioned at the rear.
  • Mirrors: Your motorcycle must have at least one mirror to provide visibility of the road behind you. However, it’s advisable to have two mirrors—one on the left and one on the right—for better awareness of surrounding traffic.

Maintain your motorcycle regularly

Regular motorcycle maintenance is essential to ensure your bike is in excellent working order. Be sure to check your tires, brakes, lights, and signals frequently for any potential issues. Additionally, schedule a yearly service with a licensed mechanic to keep your motorcycle running smoothly.

Final Verdicts

Following these tips and making safety a priority whenever you ride your motorcycle in Alberta will allow you to enjoy the open road with more peace of mind.

Stay safe, stay alert, and happy riding.

Other articles from mtltimes.ca – totimes.ca – otttimes.ca

Air duct cleaning Montreal by specialist – Mtl Duct Cleaning

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar