By Matt Lalande in Motorcycle Accidents on April 19, 2018
Injuries caused by motorcycle accidents in Ontario make up a significant portion of serious traffic accidents, as well as being a significant cause of increased morbidity and mortality, especially among young males. There is no doubt that motorcyclists are more vulnerable on the road and much more likely to be injured or killed then occupants and drivers of other vehicles. The Ministry of Transportation publishes an annual report on road safety which gives us need statistics on motorcycle accident related injuries and death. The last statistics published were in 2014, which reported nearly 2000 motorcycle accident related injuries and 56 motorcycle related deaths in the year prior. There are nearly 205,000 registered motorcycles. Remember that our writing season is quite short compared to other states and provinces.
In fact, the Ontario Provincial Police reported that the amount of motorcycle fatalities in 2017 were becoming alarming. It was the worst year for motorcycle deaths in the last decade. Alcohol, excessive speed and the loss of control of the motorcycles were just some of the factors involved in the collisions last year that killed numerous riders.
The next time you want to strap on your motorcycle gear and head out for a Sunday ride on your Harley, consider the costs. In 2017, the Canadian Medical Society released a study which made an attempt to calculate the direct costs of all publicly funded medical care provided to individuals hurt in motorcycle crashes, compared with those involved in automobile accidents. The study compared 26,831 motorcycle accident patients vs 281 826 car accident patients and compare the costs of treating each of those individuals. The Study reported that the rate of injury was triple for motorcycle accident crashes, considering the much higher rate in injury. The study concluded that motorcycle riders easily incur three times the injuries as those in a car or truck, with the medical cost being six times higher.
Many reported motorcycle accidents tell us that alcohol use is one of the major factor in motorcycle crashes. Speed is also another reason why motorcycle accidents occur. Some drivers are also riskier and more aggressive than they should be. Sport motorcycles are also a danger. A report from the Highway Safety Institute in the US, tells us that writers of super sport motorcycles have driver death rates that are nearly 4 times higher than those who drive cruiser bikes. The Institute also reported that sport bikes had the highest overall collision losses when compared to other types of motorcycles. New riders who are also inexperienced with handling slippery conditions, blind corners and gravel – all of which are major concerns when driving a bike.
Speed, driver inattention to speed limits, road conditions, weather and traffic are all common causes of motorcycle accidents in Ontario. Other major causes of motorcycle accidents on Ontario include:
Head-on collisions are a common cause of motorcycle fatality in Ontario, particularly to the back roads.
Left-Turn Accidents are one of the most dangerous situations. The vehicle making the left hand turn either fails to see you coming or does not judge your speed correctly. A very large percentage of motorcycle crashes involve left-hand turning vehicles.
Distracted Driving cause a significant amount of accidents in Ontario involving motorcyclists. If a driver of a car or truck is distracted and not paying attention they can be a major danger to other motorists, including motorcycles.
Inexperience also plays a role in bike crashes. There are many new motorcyclists riding bikes each year. Unfortunately many young riders fail to realize that motorcycles are smaller and less stable. Many new riders often speed in excess of limits. There are also numerous studies which confirm that an inexperienced rider is more likely to crash within the first year of owning the bike.
Cars Changing Into Your Lane is also a common cause of motorcycle accidents on major Ontario highways. Motorcyclists are a vulnerable group and are often not seen by cars around them.
Read-end crashes – a simple fender bender can kill a motorcyclist.
Head Trauma: despite motorcyclists were only helmets, head trauma is almost always present in high impact mortar cycle accidents. Once you fall from a bike, it is virtually impossible to prevent your head from hitting the ground or even more devastating, hitting another vehicle around you. Serious brain injuries (TBI) are not uncommon. Head injuries may cause bleeding (subarachnoid hemorrhage, subdural hematoma, extradural hematoma), concussions, and more severe type injuries that could leave a victim with devastating life-long problems, such as mental impairment, loss of motor function, memory and speech issues, vision problems, forgetfulness, confusion – all of which may require attendant care and rehabilitation consultants.
Spinal Cord and Thoracic Spine Injuries: One medical study reported that in a series of 266 motorcycle accident victims, seen over a 42-month period, 13 cases of thoracic spine injury were identified. 11 of these victims were catapulted from their motorcycles and suffered thoracic spine injuries. Spinal cord injuries are normally always catastrophic and devastating, requiring critical medical and attendant care for life. Spinal cord injuries in motorcycle victims often happen due to fractures or compression e of the vertebral bones.
Fractures and broken bones: open and closed lower extremity fractures are common, with closed fractures being more common. Joint stiffness is often the most common post-treatment complication, next to arthritis if the fracture happens in a joint. Hip fractures are also common, as are ankles and feet breaks.
Disfigurement: By not wearing proper motorcycle protective clothing such as jackets, boots, and gloves, riders can suffer major disfigurement and scarring. Also, we have represented riders that have suffered major facial disfigurement because of wearing biker style open face helmets.
Individuals victims of motorcycle accidents in Ontario, with injuries and acquired sequelae such as fractures, dislocations, severe wounds, amputation of limbs and spinal cord injury may experience ongoing and permanent impairments in mobility, in occupational and everyday life, social relationships, physical and mental health. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a motorcycle accident please call our Hamilton motorcycle accident lawyers at 905-333-8888 or fill in a contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.