Over the past ten years (2006-2015), there have been 267 motorcycle and 167 off-road vehicle (ORV) rider deaths in collisions investigated by the OPP.
With motorcycle and ORV enthusiasts set to hit the roads and trails in large numbers over the long weekend, the OPP is shedding light on some eye-opening facts about deaths among these two categories of recreational vehicle users.
Too many safe motorcyclists paying the price
Sadly, last year (2015) marked the first year that more than half of the motorcyclists who have died in OPP-investigated collisions these past ten years were killed through no fault of their own. A total of 27 motorcyclists and four passengers lost their lives last year, with a record 17 of those motorcycle drivers reported as driving properly at the time of the crash that ended their lives.
Little change in leading causes of motorcycle deaths
Various causal factors came into play in these fatal crashes, with loss of control (33), speed (30), failing to yield (28) and driver inattention (26) leading the list over the ten-year period. While these causal factors can be attributed to either the motorcyclist or the driver(s) of other vehicle(s) involved in the collision, the bottom line is that motorcyclists and other drivers need to do a better job of sharing the road safely.
The hard truth about ORV ejection and no helmet
Ten-year ORV data revealed that off-roaders in large numbers continue to ride without helmets, with 74 of the 167 deceased riders found wearing no helmet at the time of the crash. With the vast majority (154) of those who died being ejected from their vehicle, the OPP remains concerned about the significant number of off-roaders who may falsely believe they can survive serious head trauma better than those who are ejected from other types of motorized vehicles.
Some actions and conditions of drivers make ORV crashes no “accidents”
Among the deceased ORV drivers over the past ten years, 69 of them were reported as having lost control of their vehicle. The data also revealed that 69 of the fatalities involved a driver who had consumed alcohol before or during their ride. Of the riders who have died these past ten years, 16 of them were innocent passengers, some of whom were not victims of an inevitable “accident” but rather victims who died as a result of irresponsible driving behaviour.
Teen and youth deaths
Sadly, 25 of the deceased ORV riders these past ten years were teenagers and some of the victims were even younger. These tragic, preventable deaths speak to the importance of all ORV users respecting the law and setting excellent examples for children who are being introduced to off-roading, whether as a new rider or a passenger.