By Matt Lalande in Motorcycle Accidents on August 01, 2020
In Ontario, the warm summer days and crisp fall settings are the perfect conditions to head out on a motorcycle ride. For many riders, the enjoyment of a motorcycle ride is unmatched in warmer months. However, according to the motorcycle accident statistics in Ontario, a leisurely motorcycle ride has the potential to turn into a devastating, life-changing nightmare in just a few short moments. While you should be able to enjoy your hobby, you can’t always count on others to be careful for your safety.
When you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident, life can change in an instant without any warning. Suddenly, it becomes difficult to manage family life, you may be unable to return to work due to the impact of your injuries, and the bills begin to pile up. Mentally, you may begin to suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety. Thanks to someone else’s negligence, you may be suffering these symptoms years after you’ve recovered from the accident.
This is due to the fact that motorcycle accidents come with a much higher price tag, financially and physically, than automobile accidents. These statistics, conducted from medical studies in clinical settings, indicate the devastating toll a motorcycle accident can have on a victim and their family.
In 2017, the OPP released a study which revealed 48 motorcyclists died as a result of crashes with other vehicles – with nearly 1/2 of the victims being men between the ages of 45 to 64.
Later that same year, the Ontario Road Safety Annual Report indicated that by year’s end, there were 69 motorcycle accident fatalities, up by 6% from 2016, out of 2203 serious collisions. Also, out of the 2203 motorcycle accidents, 1372 riders suffered serious injuries.
The CMAJ published a study which indicated that compared with car accidents, motorcycle accidents caused 3 times the injuries, 10 times the severity, 6 times the medical costs and 5 times the deaths. The study also found that people with injuries from motorcycle crashes were much more likely to be hospitalized and to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) compared with car crash victims and motorcycle riders in Canada are at least 15 times more likely to be involved in a crash than automobile drivers.
In the US things are much worse – but relative, given that they are 10X the population. According to NHTSA there out of the 8.6 million private and commercial motorcycles on the road, there were 4,976 motorcyclists were killed in 2018, which is up 8.4 percent from 2017, which saw 4,594 . The study reported that motorcyclists being 27 times more likely than motor vehicle occupants to die in a crash per “vehicle mile traveled,” and nearly five times as likely to be injured.
A study in the CMAJ found that for each registered motorcycle, the cost to the Ontario public health system is approximately six times higher than each registered automobile. Additionally, the study also found that motorcycle accidents cause five times more deaths than automobile accidents do.
Motorcyclists are at a higher risk for life-changing, catastrophic injuries because of the nature of the vehicle. Riders are directly exposed to the elements, while automobile drivers have more protection from the vehicle’s structure and safety measures. While growing efforts to promote motorcycle safety awareness have had a positive impact in recent years, motorcycles continue to pose a higher risk of severe injury due to the nature of the machine.
Patient costs from motorcycle accidents can reach thousands of dollars, if not more. Within the first two years after a motorcycle accident, the average patient-level cost is approximately $2,995 to $5,835 for health care expenses related primarily to acute care. This total is per individual rider, but can vary depending on the specific nature of the injury.
This number also does not factor in the other costs a victim may face personally, including loss of income, outpatient or ongoing care costs, caregiver expenses, and funeral expenses for the family if the victim does not survive. When you suffer from a catastrophic, life-changing injury, you may find that your ongoing care and physical limitations prevent you from finding employment, but the bills do not stop just because you can no longer work.
Due to the exposure a motorcyclist has compared to an automobile, motorcyclists are at a higher risk of severe injuries to the head, chest, thorax, abdomen, or extremities than an automobile driver. These areas are most commonly exposed when riding a motorcycle, thus resulting in injuries such as amputation injuries, broken bones and fractures, spinal cord injuries, torn ligaments, brain injuries, and more. Further, victims from a motorcycle accident are more likely to require immediate ICU care, as the nature of these injuries is generally more damaging both in the short term and the long term.
When the accident occurs between a motorcycle and a vehicle, the motorcyclist almost always suffers more extreme injuries than the driver of the vehicle. It is increasingly important and urgent that all drivers follow the rules of the road and keep an extra close watch for motorcycles who could be in their vicinity.
Matt Lalande is a Hamilton motorcycle accident lawyer who has assisted victims and families of victims who have suffered catastrophic injuries in motorcycle accidents across Ontario since 2003. Suffering the consequences due to someone else’s mistakes is not fair, and you deserve to seek financial compensation as you recover from this devastating time. If you or a loved one has suffered devastating emotional and physical damage from a motorcycle accident, contact us to request a free legal consultation. While we can’t change the damage you have already suffered, we will work passionately to ensure you receive the financial compensation you deserve to help get your quality of life back. Call us today at Province-wide at 1-844-LALANDE or local at 905-333-8888 for a free consultation.