OPP reports over 340 motorcyclist deaths in past decade

Police respond to a crash involving a motorcycle on McDowell Road East at Charlotteville Quarter Line in Norfolk County, July 8, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the OPP via Twitter)

The province has released some disheartening data that looks at who was at fault in the crashes that claimed the lives of over 340 motorcyclists in the last 10 years.

Between 2012 and 2021, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to 326 fatal motorcycle collisions that killed 342 motorcyclists. Police say cumulative data from all of the investigations determined that throughout the past decade, the motorcyclists who perished were reportedly the at-fault driver in 60.7 per cent of the crashes, while the drivers of the other vehicles involved were found to be at fault 39.3 per cent of the time.

OPP say over 120 of the fatalities were collisions involving a single motorcycle. In the other 222 deaths, at least one other vehicle was implicated. Data also showed riders between the ages of 45 and 54 accounted for the highest number of motorcycle deaths.

“The data is a stark reminder that there can be zero risks and errors on the part of motorcyclists and that even the safest, most defensive riders must rely on nearby motorists exercising the same degree of safety in order to avoid causing a deadly crash,” read a statement from Provincial Traffic Operations Sergeant Paul Beaton. “Excessive speed, failing to yield right of way, and driver inattention remain lead contributing factors in OPP-investigated motorcycle fatalities every year.”

As we roll into May, most provincial roads are expected to remain clear of snow and ice, making it the start of peak riding season. It is also Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The OPP is calling on motorcyclists and drivers to look out for each other at all times, and say motorcycle safety is the responsibility of every driver.

“The OPP is reminding motorcyclists and drivers that sharing the road responsibly, observing posted speed limits and keeping alcohol, drugs and distractions off our roads are vital to reducing the number of motorcycle collisions, injuries and deaths,” said Sgt. Beaton.

Last year, police responded to 34 motorcycle crashes on OPP-patrolled roads that claimed the lives of 35 people. The OPP encourages new and experienced riders to read up on safety tips throughout May to learn more about motorcycle safety.