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OPP warn motorcycle fatalities could reach 7-year high

Ontario provincial police are concerned about the rising number of deadly motorcycle crashes.

So far this year, 26 people have died in motorcycle crashes in the province, and if the trend continues, the fatalities could reach a seven-year high.

In 2013, 28 people died in motorcycle crashes.

Drivers are being reminded to give bikes extra space on the roads and pay special attention to their blind spots.

Motorcyclists are also being reminded to obey the laws. Earlier this month, the OPP clocked a motorcyclist travelling at 210 km/h.

“We are relying on motorcyclists and the motoring public to work with us and join in our efforts to keep motorcycling safe,” OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair said in a release.

“The solution is simple: ride and drive within the law.”

Between 2008 and 2014, 175 motorcyclists have died in crashes on Ontario roads — 168 of the victims were the motorcyclist and seven were passengers.

According to OPP statistics over the seven-year span, those within the 45-54 age group had the highest fatality rate, comprising 48 of the 175 victims. The second highest age group was 55-64, with 39 fatalities.

As of Aug. 18, only 16 of the 175 motorcyclists who have died were under the age of 25.

The OPP said the top contributing factors to crashes involving a motorcycle and other vehicles were:

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

Motorcycle myths and facts

Myth: Young, inexperienced motorcyclists are the most vulnerable, at-risk riders and account for the largest number of victims who die in motorcycle crashes in Ontario.

Fact: From 2008 to 2014 (as of August 18), only 16 of the 175 motorcyclists who have 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).

Myth: Those who die in motorcycle crashes are doing something wrong at the time of the incident.
Like other drivers, motorcyclists can avoid crashes if they drive properly and within the law.

Fact: Between 2008 and 2014, for 50 of the 175 motorcycle victims, the driver of the motorcycle was driving properly at the time.
Far too often, the actions of another driver are a causal factor in motorcycle crashes.
Motorcycles are much harder to see than other vehicles.

Myth: Motorcyclists are at far greater risk of crashing when riding on wet roads.
Fact: 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.

Other facts relating to the 175 OPP-investigated motorcycle fatalities from 2008 to 2014 (as of August 18):

  • 156 of the victims were men, 19 were women.

Information courtesy of Ontario Provincial Police