Motorcycle Deaths Approach Seven-Year High

With at least two more months of riding weather ahead, the OPP is concerned 2014 motorcycle deaths could reach a seven-year high.

So far this year, 25 motorcyclists and one passenger have died in motorcycle crashes on Ontario roads and highways.

OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair says too often the motorcyclist is a victim of the actions of a motorist.

“Other than a careless few that we come across during our enforcement operations, the OPP believes that Ontario motorcyclists in general recognize that they are a vulnerable road user and demonstrate safe, defensive driving,” says Blair. “We are relying on motorcyclists and the motoring public to work with us and join in our efforts to keep motorcycling safe. The solution is simple: ride and drive within the law.”

Earlier this month, OPP Aircraft Enforcement Patrol (AEP) clocked a motorcyclist going 210 km/hr and charged him under Ontario’s stunt driving law.  However, police say it’s a myth that only young, reckless, inexperienced motorcyclists are the ones getting killed on the roads. they’ve shared some statistics about motorcycle fatalities:

  • From 2008 to 2014 (as of August 18), only 16 of the 175 motorcyclists who died on Ontario roads were under the age of 25.
  • The age group with the highest rate of fatality is the 45-54 year group, which comprises 48 of the 175 victims.
  • The second highest age group is the 55-64 year group, with 39 victims in that category. Combined, these two age groups account for almost half of the fatalities (87).
  • Between 2008 and 2014, for 50 of the 175 motorcycle victims, the driver of the motorcycle was driving properly at the time.
  • While true that riding on wet roads places an additional risk on riders, 158 of the 175 motorcyclists who have died between 2008 and 2014 (to date) were riding on dry roads.
  • 168 of the victims were the driver, seven were passengers.
  • 156 of the victims were men, 19 were women.

Top contributing factors (on the part of the motorcyclist and/or other driver(s) involved in the collision):

  • Speed: Factor in 43 of the deaths.
  • Lost Control: Factor in 29 of the deaths.
  • Alcohol: Factor in 21 of the deaths.
  • Fail to Yield: Factor in 20 of the deaths.
  • Inattention: Factor in 18 of the deaths.