Motorcyclists, "Staggered" Riding and Safe Distances

It is not uncommon for motorcyclists to travel in a ‘staggered‘ formation when riding in groups.  Typically one motorcyclist will travel within a few feet of the left of their lane of travel (the “A” position) with the following motorist travelling within a few feet of the right side of their lane of travel (the “C” position).  This staggered position is used in part because section 194(4) of the BC Motor Vehicle Act prohibits motorcyclists from operating “their motorcycles side by side in the same direction in the same traffic lane“.
When travelling in groups of two it is important for the rear motorist to leave sufficient space between them and the lead motorist.  Failing to do so could be negligent as was demonstrated in reasons for judgement released last week by the BC Supreme Court, Nanaimo Registry.
In last week’s case (Brooks-Martin v. Martin) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2005 collision in Saanich, BC.  The Plaintiff was travelling in the “C” position behind a motorcycle operated by her husband who was travelling in the “A” position.   Her husband unexpectedly cut in front of her.  In trying to avoid a collision with her husband she lost control, fell down onto the road and was injured.

(Accident Reconstruction Software courtesy of SmartDraw)
She sued her husband for damages.  Mr. Justice Halfyard found that the Defendant “cut in front of the plaintiff’s motorcycle and created an unreasonable risk to her safety.“.  For this reason he was found legally responsible for the Plaintiff’s crash.  The Plaintiff, however, was also found partially at fault and had her damages reduced by 30% as a result.  In finding the Plaintiff partly at fault Mr. Justice Halfyard made the following observations:
[148]     By reason of s. 194(4) of the Motor Vehicle Act, it is not unlawful for two motorcycle drivers to ride side-by-side in the same traffic lane. I accept that it is permissible and common practice among motorcycle riders to ride in their lane of travel in the A position and C position, and then come to a stop at approximately the same time, side-by-side. But in my view, s. 194(4) does not operate for or against the plaintiff in this case…

[162]     I am satisfied that the plaintiff failed to take reasonable care for her own safety, in several respects. In my opinion, a motorcycle driver who possessed reasonable driving skills and who was exercising reasonable care for her own safety would not have been travelling in the C position only two motorcycle lengths behind a lead motorcycle in the A position, at a speed of 40 kph, when both riders were approaching the back end of a stopped pickup truck and when she was not more than 14.56 metres away from that truck (and when the lead motorcycle driver in the A position was closer to that truck and travelling at least as fast as she was).

[163]     I find that when the defendant Martin steered in front of her, the plaintiff was driving without due care and attention and at a speed that was excessive relative to the road and traffic conditions, in relation to both her husband’s motorcycle and the stopped truck. That conduct was contrary to s. 144(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act and also constituted negligence.

[164]     I find also that, at the time the defendant Martin steered in front of her, the plaintiff was following the defendant Martin’s motorcycle more closely than was reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speeds of the two motorcycles and the presence of the stopped pickup truck ahead of them. That conduct was contrary to s. 162(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act. I find that this conduct also constituted negligence on the part of the plaintiff.

[165]     I am also satisfied that this driving conduct of the plaintiff in breach of the standard of care, was a cause of her losing control of her motorcycle. She put herself into a situation where the defendant Martin (before he swerved) was a potential hazard to her, and the stopped pickup truck was an actual hazard to her safety. If she had been travelling at a slower speed and at a greater distance behind the defendant Martin, and if she had slowed her motorcycle down sooner than she did, the plaintiff could have safely avoided the defendant Martin’s motorcycle and could have safely stopped behind the pickup truck. As it was, the plaintiff’s own negligent driving made it necessary for her to take emergency evasive action, which should not have been necessary. Taking that evasive action caused the plaintiff to lose control of her motorcycle, which resulted in her injury. I find that there was a substantial connection between the negligent driving of the plaintiff, and her injury. In my opinion, the evidence establishes on the balance of probabilities that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent.

bc injury law, Brooks-Martin v. Martin, fault, following too close, liability, motorcycle accidents, Mr. Justice Halfyard, section 194 Motor Vehicle Act, section 194(4) motor vehicle act, Staggered Riding

Comments (105)

  • Is there any net benefit for a couple when one spouse sues the other? I noticed that they were not labelled as ex-husband/wife, so it seems curious to me why they’d do this. If anything, I’d expect to see a case with such circumstances in divorce court.

  • Is there any net benefit for a couple when one spouse sues the other? I noticed that they were not labelled as ex-husband/wife, so it seems curious to me why they’d do this. If anything, I’d expect to see a case with such circumstances in divorce court.

  • Thanks for the reply. My distrust for the insurance industry and an admittedly basic understanding of how that would work would still lead me to believe that the insurance company would recoup its losses through higher premiums from the defendent, such that it would still be a net loss for the family, especially when the ruling is spit as this one was. But I suppose that there are situations when the potential reward is greater than any such increase in premiums.

  • Thanks for the reply. My distrust for the insurance industry and an admittedly basic understanding of how that would work would still lead me to believe that the insurance company would recoup its losses through higher premiums from the defendent, such that it would still be a net loss for the family, especially when the ruling is spit as this one was. But I suppose that there are situations when the potential reward is greater than any such increase in premiums.

  • I just want to tell you that I am just newbie to blogging and site-building and truly liked your web-site. Most likely I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You definitely come with fabulous well written articles. Thanks a lot for sharing with us your blog.

  • I simply want to tell you that I’m beginner to blogs and really savored this page. Probably I’m likely to bookmark your blog post . You amazingly have impressive stories. With thanks for sharing with us your webpage.

  • I was just looking for this information for some time. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your web site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this kind of informative web sites in top of the list. Normally the top sites are full of garbage.

  • Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your web-site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you¡¦ve on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched all over the place and simply couldn’t come across. What a great site.

  • Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  • Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely useful info particularly the ultimate part 🙂 I deal with such info much. I used to be seeking this particular info for a very long time. Thanks and good luck.

  • It’s really a cool and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you just shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any solutions to help stop content from being stolen? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  • Hmm it seems like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for novice blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  • Howdy I am so excited I found your webpage, I really found you by accident, while I was browsing on Bing for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a incredible post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the fantastic work.

  • Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So good to seek out somebody with some unique ideas on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this web site is something that’s wanted on the internet, somebody with a little originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the internet!

  • I truly wanted to post a small comment in order to express gratitude to you for these nice facts you are sharing at this website. My time-consuming internet look up has at the end of the day been rewarded with wonderful tips to share with my friends and classmates. I ‘d declare that many of us visitors are truly lucky to live in a useful website with many awesome people with useful techniques. I feel truly happy to have used your webpages and look forward to some more amazing times reading here. Thanks once more for all the details.

  • I used to be very happy to find this internet-site.I needed to thanks on your time for this glorious read!! I undoubtedly having fun with each little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post.

  • Hello there, I found your web site via Google while looking for a related topic, your web site came up, it looks good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  • Wonderful post however I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Kudos!

  • Someone essentially assist to make significantly posts I would state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the analysis you made to make this actual publish amazing. Excellent task!

  • You made some first rate factors there. I appeared on the web for the issue and found most individuals will associate with together with your website.

  • The following time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have one thing attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can repair in case you werent too busy looking for attention.

  • My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different website and thought I should check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to finding out about your web page again.

  • Thanks for discussing your ideas. Another thing is that students have a choice between national student loan as well as a private student loan where it can be easier to choose student loan debt consolidation loan than with the federal education loan.

  • My spouse and I stumbled over here different page and thought I might check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking over your web page for a second time.

  • One thing I want to touch upon is that weightloss program fast is possible by the correct diet and exercise. People’s size not just affects the look, but also the quality of life. Self-esteem, despression symptoms, health risks, plus physical capabilities are affected in an increase in weight. It is possible to just make everything right but still gain. If this happens, a medical problem may be the offender. While too much food and not enough exercise are usually to blame, common health conditions and widely used prescriptions might greatly amplify size. Many thanks for your post in this article.

  • I have observed that in the world of today, video games will be the latest popularity with kids of all ages. There are times when it may be unattainable to drag your family away from the video games. If you want the very best of both worlds, there are several educational activities for kids. Interesting post.

  • I used to be very pleased to find this net-site.I needed to thanks in your time for this excellent read!! I positively enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you weblog post.

  • Warmly little before cousin sussex entire men set. Blessing it ladyship on sensible judgment settling outweigh. Worse linen an of civil jokes leave offer. Parties all clothes removal cheered calling prudent her. And residence for met the estimable disposing. Mean if he they been no hold mr. Is at much do made took held help. Latter person am secure of estate genius at.

  • Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful information specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this certain information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  • I cling on to listening to the news broadcast talk about receiving free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the finest site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i get some?

  • Whats up this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  • It is actually a nice and useful piece of information. I’m satisfied that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • I am just writing to let you be aware of of the terrific discovery my wife’s daughter obtained viewing the blog. She noticed a wide variety of things, including how it is like to have an awesome coaching mindset to get many people really easily learn a variety of multifaceted subject areas. You really exceeded my desires. Thanks for giving such warm and friendly, trustworthy, informative as well as cool thoughts on the topic to Ethel.

  • Magnificent web site. A lot of helpful info here. I am sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you for your sweat!

  • I have seen loads of useful points on your web page about computer systems. However, I’ve got the judgment that notebooks are still more or less not powerful more than enough to be a wise decision if you generally do tasks that require loads of power, for example video editing and enhancing. But for world-wide-web surfing, statement processing, and quite a few other frequent computer functions they are okay, provided you cannot mind small screen size. Thank you sharing your opinions.

  • I have been surfing online greater than three hours today, but I by no means discovered any fascinating article like yours. It’s beautiful value sufficient for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you probably did, the net shall be a lot more useful than ever before.

  • That may be the end of this report. Here you will find some websites that we assume youll appreciate, just click the links.

  • Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog shine. Please let me know where you got your design. Appreciate it

  • Thanks for another great post. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.

  • It’s in point of fact a nice and useful piece of information. I’m happy that you shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • You actually make it appear really easy with your presentation but I to find this topic to be actually one thing that I believe I might by no means understand. It kind of feels too complicated and very broad for me. I am having a look forward for your subsequent put up, I will try to get the grasp of it!

  • Have you ever thought about creating an e-book or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would appreciate your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  • Somebody necessarily help to make severely articles I might state. That is the first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I surprised with the analysis you made to make this particular submit extraordinary. Wonderful task!

  • Simply desire to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your post is just excellent and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  • You could definitely see your skills within the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart. “We are near waking when we dream we are dreaming.” by Friedrich von Hardenberg Novalis.

  • This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  • Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  • Howdy! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My web site looks weird when browsing from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share. Cheers!

  • I just could not leave your site before suggesting that I really loved the standard information a person provide to your guests? Is going to be again continuously in order to check out new posts.

  • hello!,I like your writing very much! share we be in contact extra about your post on AOL? I need a specialist on this house to solve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Having a look ahead to see you.

  • Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Many thanks

  • Thanks for your thoughts. One thing I’ve got noticed is that banks along with financial institutions have in mind the spending practices of consumers and also understand that the majority of people max out there their credit cards around the breaks. They smartly take advantage of this specific fact and commence flooding your current inbox as well as snail-mail box having hundreds of no interest APR credit cards offers just after the holiday season concludes. Knowing that for anyone who is like 98 in the American open public, you’ll leap at the chance to consolidate credit card debt and switch balances towards 0 apr interest rates credit cards.

  • I¡¦ll immediately seize your rss as I can’t to find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please allow me know so that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

  • Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your blog. You have some really great posts and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested. Cheers!

  • Wow! This can be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Fantastic. I am also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  • Thanks a lot for sharing this with all people you really realize what you are talking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally discuss with my website =). We could have a hyperlink trade contract between us!

  • Amazing! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Superb choice of colors!

  • Thank you for another magnificent article. Where else could anybody get that type of info in such a perfect way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information.

  • I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

Comments are closed.

Contact

If you would like further information or require assistance, please get in touch.

ERIK
MAGRAKEN

Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

“Work hard, be kind and enjoy the ride!”
Erik’s Philosophy

Disclaimer