Motorcycle deaths could hit 7-year high, OPP says
So far 26 motorcycle riders have died in 2014
The Ontario Provincial Police say the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents could hit a seven-year high.
Police say 26 riders have died so far in 2014, with at least two more months of the season left to go.
OPP say while the majority of bikers abide by the law, there are a "careless few" who don't.
For example earlier this this month, OPP Aircraft Enforcement Patrol (AEP) clocked a motorcyclist travelling at 210 kilometres per hour, charging him under Ontario's stunt driving law.
"The OPP believes that Ontario motorcyclists in general recognize that they are a vulnerable road user and demonstrate safe, defensive driving," said OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair.
The OPP released the following data to address what they say are some common myths about motorcycle deaths.
OPP points to 'myths' about motorcycle deaths
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 Aug. 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.
Myth: Motorcyclists are at far greater risk of crashing when riding on wet roads.
Fact: While it's 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.
The OPP says motorcycle riders should take steps to ensure they can be seen on the road, such as wearing high-visibility equipment. They also ask drivers to be vigilant about seeing motorcycles on the road, especially in blind spots before changing lanes.
Other facts relating to the 175 OPP-investigated motorcycle fatalities from 2008 to 2014 (as of Aug. 18):
- 168 of the victims were the driver, seven were passengers.
- 156 of the victims were men, 19 were women.
Top contributing factors in the deaths
- Speed: Factor in 43 of the deaths.
- Lost Control: Factor in 29 of the deaths.
- Alcohol: Factor in 21 of the deaths.
- Failure to Yield: Factor in 20 of the deaths.
- Inattention: Factor in 18 of the deaths.