Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia doctors stumped by rash of July motorcycle crashes

In July alone, 10 out of 17 trauma incidents in Nova Scotia have been due to motorcycle crashes, according to Trauma Nova Scotia.

Good weather the only possible culprit, says the medical director of Trauma Nova Scotia

A helicopter on the site of collision between a motorcycle and a car on Highway 101 earlier this month. (Submitted by Shelley L Morse)

The head of Trauma Nova Scotia says July has been exceptionally busy due to a rash of motorcycle accidents.

The province's trauma department has seen two to three times the annual average of motorcycle accidents so far this year. Just this month, 10 of 17 major trauma incidents have been because of a motorcycle crash, said Dr. Robert Green, the medical director of Trauma Nova Scotia.

Green said there is not one thing that points to why there have been so many crashes this month, except possibly the good weather.

"My impression is that it doesn't matter what type of motorcycle they're on. It's speed, it's road conditions, it's other drivers and it's the unexpected which are causing these crashes," said Green.

Dr. Robert Green, the medical director of Trauma Nova Scotia, said there is not one thing that points to why there have been so many motorcycle crashes in July. (CBC)

Green said they have seen everything from serious brain injuries to injuries to the torso and limbs.

"I think anyone who chooses to drive or ride on a motorcycle needs to be extremely cautious. They are, as I said, an unforgiving vehicle. If you have any collision, any problems on a motorcycle and you crash, chances of major injury are very high," said Green.

Trauma Nova Scotia plans to study motor vehicle accidents to find out what type is the most dangerous.

One option for bikers looking to stay safe are the motorcycle training classes are available throughout the province. A range of courses are available for those just learning to ride to those wanting to learn to drive with a passenger on the back.

The manager of Privateers Harley Davidson in Halifax still takes courses even though he's been riding a bike for almost 40 years.

"They also do advanced motorcycle riding courses. I take that every spring just to get me started, to get me feeling the motorcycle, just get the cobwebs out from over the winter," said Dale Williams.

He said a motorcycles small size can be hard for other drivers to judge the motorcycles' speed.

"A car is a certain size. You see all these cars coming towards you. A motorcycle is smaller. It might be moving the same speed, but it's a little bit hard to judge the speed that it's moving," said Williams.

Williams said bikers should also wear the proper equipment, like a CSA-approved helmet, leather jacket and gloves and goggles.

He said motorcyclists and drivers need to be aware of each other on the road to keep everyone safe on the highways this summer.

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