2017 has been a dangerous year for Ontario’s motorcyclists – here’s how to stay safe
Ontario’s motorcyclists put themselves at risk every time they head out for a ride. Motorcyclists, and the motor vehicle accident lawyers who sometimes represent them, know that they are inherently less protected than other road users. Cars and trucks are more visible than motorcycles, and their drivers are always protected by the vehicle’s frame.
In that motor vehicle accidents remain a leading cause of premature death and serious injury in Canada for both occupants and riders of cars and motorcycles, it is clear that in any collision involving a motorcycle, it is the motorcycle rider who is less protected than an occupant of a car or truck and thus is exposed to the potential for greater harm.
According to the Ontario Provincial Police, 2017 has been a particularly dangerous year for Ontario’s motorcyclists.
“We have had 30 motorcycle riders die in collisions in 2017,” OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told the CBC. “That is very alarming considering last year [the worst year in the past decade], all year, we only had 36, which is 36 too many.”
At least three of this year’s fatalities have occurred within the City of Toronto, and on August 20, an accident in the Kawarthas claimed the lives of two more GTA residents. Greg Campbell, 43, of Toronto, and 40-year-old Mark Langhorne of Oshawa were killed in a collision involving more than a dozen motorcycles traveling in opposite directions.
The many motorcycling fatalities that have occurred in Ontario are tragedies, but so too are the hundreds of serious injuries suffered each year. When a person survives a motorcycle accident, they may require prolonged assistance from healthcare professionals and motor vehicle accident lawyers in order to reclaim control of their lives.
In the unfortunate circumstance where an individual suffers serious injuries as a result of a motorcycle accident, motor vehicle accident lawyers can be instrumental in insuring the injured individual receives full and timely access to the health benefits they are entitled to as well as income replacement benefits they are entitled to pursuant to the Ontario No-Fault Accident Benefits scheme, and for full and proper compensation if they have the right to sue for compensation for their injuries.
So, what can motorcyclists do to avoid injuries while still enjoying the freedom and exhilaration of their preferred pastime? In a recent blog, the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association laid out a few safety tips:
- Maintain your motorcycle: This step is essential to staying safe on the roads. Before you head out for a ride, ensure your signals, headlights, brake lights, brakes, and shock absorbers are working properly.
- Pay special attention to your tires: Don’t take chances with your tires – if the tread is wearing low or unevenly, replace them. Take extra care in wet weather, when it’s easier to lose control of your bike.
- Dress brightly: Low visibility is a common factor in motorcycle collisions. As a motorcyclist, you are less visible than larger vehicles, and distracted drivers are unlikely to be looking for you. Make sure to wear protective gear in bright colours to remain noticeable on the roads.
- Drive defensively: For motorcyclists, simply obeying the posted rules of the road may not be enough to avoid accidents. You must be acutely aware of the vehicles around you and ready to make evasive actions at any time.
If, despite taking these precautions, you or someone you know is involved in a motorcycle accident, consider contacting the motor vehicle accident lawyers at Nanda & Associate to learn how we can help you on your road to recovery.