Spring is here, and that means certain two-wheeled motor vehicles will be back on the roads in full force.
Motorcycle accident deaths skyrocketed in Ontario in 2020, up 60% in the spring/summer season from the year before. Most of those crashes involved men — many of them thrillseekers — aged 45-54. These fatality statistics give new meaning to the term “midlife crisis”.
Studies show that the likelihood of injury in a motorcycle accident is 98% in a crash with another vehicle, and still 96% even in a single-vehicle accident. Are motorcycles worth the risk?
How dangerous are motorcycles?
While motorcycles account for just 3% of the total vehicles on the road in Canada, they account for 11% of motor vehicle fatalities and 12% of serious injuries. In fact, motorcyclists are 15 times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers of cars.
The same numbers hold true for Ontario, where a study also found that in 72% of fatal crashes, the motorcyclist was not operating his or her motorcycle properly, and was likely at fault. Almost 40% of fatally injured motorcyclists had been speeding prior to the crash.
One more final set of alarming statistics, courtesy of the Canadian Medical Association Journal:
Compared with automobile accidents, motorcycle collisions are responsible for:
- 10 times the severity of injuries
- 6 times the medical costs
- 5 times as many deaths
Needless to say, riding a motorcycle can be risky business. This is inherent in the very nature of the machine, even putting driver behaviour aside. They are far less crashworthy than closed vehicles like cars or trucks; they are less stable; they are less visible to other drivers; they are more vulnerable to weather conditions and other hazards on the road.
So how can a motorcycle rider avoid becoming one of these troubling statistics? There are a number of key factors that can contribute to staying safer on a motorcycle, some obvious, some a bit more subtle:
- Always wear a helmet and eye protection
- Wear proper, and preferably bright-coloured clothing
- Ride sober
- Ride defensively and follow all traffic rules
- Approach intersections slowly; be wary of cars turning
- Stay out of automobiles’ blind spots
- Make eye contact with other drivers: See and be seen.
But it is a two-way street: Automobile drivers can help reduce the risk for motorcyclists as well, by keeping a lookout for them at intersections and when pulling out of parking spots and side streets; by providing at least one metre of space between their car and the motorcycle; and by watching for approaching motor- and other bikes before opening the door of their vehicle when parked on the street.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of a motorcycle accident, you need the experience of Horowitz Injury Law to ensure you get the proper compensation you deserve. Brian A. Horowitz has nearly 35 years of expertise in handling these types of incidents and can offer you a free consultation to discuss your case. Call 416-925-4100.