Ontario motorcycle study highlights the importance of increased motorcycle safety

A study published November 20th in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) takes a close look at the direct medical costs of motorcycle crashes in Ontario. Through their analysis of medical costs associated with automobile and motorcycle crashes, the study found “that each motorcycle incurs 3 times the injuries, 6 times the medical costs and 5 times the deaths of each automobile.”

 

“The MCC firmly believes that everyone plays an important role in motorcycle safety. Even if you do not ride a motorcycle, chances are you know someone that does,” says Dave Millier, MCC Chair. “If the loss of life and suffering caused by catastrophic injury to motorcyclists (and cyclists and pedestrians) isn’t reason enough for every driver to take the safety of others seriously, perhaps awareness of the medical costs incurred might help.”

 

Motorcycling is a passion. It’s a sport, a hobby, an efficient means of transportation, and an important economic industry in Canada. We ride for the sheer joy and sense of freedom motorcycling offers. The fact is that motorcycles offer less personal protection than cars. Because of this, it’s important to recognize that motorcycle safety is everyone’s responsibility.

 

Transport Canada considers motorcyclists vulnerable road users by “virtue of their lack of protection if struck by a vehicle”. Other vulnerable road users include pedestrians, bicyclists, and moped riders.

 

This CMAJ study puts a spotlight on the bigger picture of responsible road use. According to a recent media interview with Rob Deutschmann at Deutschmann Law, studies have found that in most of the situations involving a motorcycle and another vehicle, at least 2/3 of the time it’s because the other vehicle did not see the motorcycle.

 

Transport Canada statistics show that deaths from automobile collisions are declining. Technological advancements and improvements to vehicle sensors and communication may be contributing to this trend. However, motorcycle fatalities are increasing, and it continues to be dangerous for motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians to share the roads with cars and trucks. There appears to be a “culture of entitlement” on our roads and highways, in which drivers are only concerned about getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible, with little regard for other road users.

 

Driving requires our full attention. We ask that all motorists commit to fully participating in driving and to put away the distractions. The consequences of distracted driving are potentially deadly for everyone sharing our roads. We encourage motorcyclists to wear protective riding gear and be diligent on the roads.

 

MCC encourages everyone to put safety first and take the Motorcycle Safety Pledge. There is a pledge for riders, passengers, motorists, and loved ones. The Pledge is a promise to yourself and others to put safety first. Join the many Canadians that support motorcycle safety by taking the #MotorcycleSafetyPledge. Visit motorcycling.ca for all the details.

 

Read the full study: Direct medical costs of motorcycle crashes in Ontario

 

Sources:

CMAJ 2017 November 20;189:E1410-5. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.170337

Road Safety in Canada

Canadian Motor Vehicle Traffic Collision Statistics 2015

Rob Deutschmann interview