Modes of Transportation – On a Motorcycle

Motorcycle Techniques and Road Traps

Intersections, blind spots and parked vehicles are but a few examples of the risks that must be dealt with when riding a motorcycle. Here is how you can control and avoid them.

Intersections

As you approach an intersection, be extra careful. What you must do:

  • slow down
  • make sure you have been seen by cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles
  • signal your intentions

Trucks, buses and other heavy vehicles

As they are about to turn, keep your distance

Trucks and buses require a lot of space to make a turn.

To prevent accidents, never pass this type of vehicle on the right and avoid being in their blind spots.  

If the vehicle is about to turn left, be cautious: the driver may not have noticed you!

Watch out for their blind spots

If you need to drive near a heavy vehicle, make sure the driver notices you and avoid being in the vehicle's blind spots.

Watch out for turbulence

Heavy vehicles create air turbulence when cruising at a good speed. Airflow around these vehicles create large vortices that can affect the ability to control nearby vehicles.

When motorcycling, stay away from heavy vehicles.

Illustration that shows the blind spots and air turbulence areas around a heavy vehicle.

Parked vehicles

Be especially vigilant when riding in a street where vehicles are parked: a driver could suddenly open a door, a pedestrian could emerge from between two vehicles, or a vehicle could merge into the lane without the driver signalling his or her intention. Riding in the left third of the lane is the safest option when you are riding in a street where vehicles are parked.

However, be aware that you are prohibited from riding between a row of moving vehicles and a row of vehicles parked in the same lane.

Animals: they may surprise you even in the city

On country roads, be mindful of wildlife warning signs. If you see one of these signs, it is because animals have been detected in the area.

In cities, watch out for pets, especially at intersections. Extendable leashes sometimes allow them to wander into the street. Do not attempt to kick away a dog that is following your motorcycle, as you risk losing your balance.

Railways: always slippery

Motorcyclists need to be extra careful when crossing railways, especially when it is or has been raining.

Depending on the layout of the railway tracks, you may have to alter your course to avoid sliding on the rails because of the angle at which they cross the road. One of the first things to do when approaching railway tracks is to slow down.

In most cases, where the tracks are more or less perpendicular to the road, you can cross the rails by travelling in a straight line without altering your course.

Illustration that shows railway tracks perpendicular to the road and a motorcyclist crossing the tracks in a straight line.

If the tracks cross the road at an angle, you will have to alter your course to cross the rails at a right angle (as much as possible) to reduce the risk of skidding.

Illustration that shows railway tracks crossing the road at an angle and a motorcyclist altering his trajectory in order to cross the rails at a right angle.

Riding as a group

When 4 or more motorcyclists ride together, they expose themselves to risky situations. To ride safely, the group must:

  • drive in a staggered formation
  • keep a distance of 2 seconds between each motorcyclist so they can move safely

Illustration that shows that the motorcyclists riding as a group must keep a distance of 2 seconds between them.

Illustration that shows that the motorcyclists in the odd-numbered positions must ride in the left third of the lane and the motorcyclists in the even-numbered positions must ride in the right third of the lane.

Prohibited manoeuvres

For safety reasons, you are prohibited from performing certain manœuvres when riding a motorcycle, including:

  • Riding between rows of vehicles moving on contiguous lanes (lane splitting)
  • Riding between the side of the roadway and another vehicle travelling in the same lane
  • Riding between a row of moving vehicles and a row of vehicles parked in the same lane

Motorcycle prohibited manoeuvre