Articles for Non-Lawyers

Photo: Helmet on the road after a motorcycle accident

Motorcycle Deaths in Ontario – Common Myths by Patricia Santucci

Three Common Myths Debunked by the OPP

Earlier this year, the Ontario Provincial Police reported that the number of people being killed in motorcycle accidents is on the rise and could hit a seven-year high. In August, the OPP said that 26 motorcycle riders had died so far in 2014. Various news outlets including the Toronto Star outlined the data released by the OPP to address some common myths about motorcycle deaths in Ontario:

  • Myth #1: Young, inexperienced motorcyclists are the most vulnerable, at-risk riders and account for the largest number of victims who die in motorcycle crashes in Ontario.

    This simply is not true. In fact, from 2008 to 2014 (as of Aug. 18), only 16 of the 175 motorcyclists who had died on Ontario roads were under the age of 25. The age group with the highest rate of fatality was the 45-54 year group. The second highest age group was the 55-64 year group. Combined, these two age groups accounted for almost half of the fatalities.

  • Myth #2: Those who die in motorcycle crashes were doing something wrong at the time of the incident. Like other drivers, motorcyclists can avoid crashes if they drive properly and within the law.

    This is also a myth. While it is true that sometimes a motorcyclist is at fault for the collision, in many cases where a motorcyclist died, the driver of the motorcycle was driving properly at the time.

  • Myth #3: Motorcyclists are at far greater risk of crashing when riding on wet roads when it is dark out.

    The facts show that while it’s true that riding on wet roads places an additional risk on riders, 158 of the 175 motorcyclists who died between 2008 and August 2014 were riding on dry roads. The OPP data shows that collisions occur between noon and 6 p.m. and road conditions in almost all of the cases have been dry and clear. OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said: “Most of the causes are speed and loss of control, so it’s something we need to address.”

The OPP listed the following factors as contributing to the deaths of the motorcyclists that they investigated:

  • Speed: Factor in 43 of the deaths.
  • Lost Control: Factor in 29 of the deaths.
  • Alcohol: Factor in 21 of the deaths.
  • Failure to Yield: Factor in 20 of the deaths.
  • Inattention: Factor in 18 of the deaths.

Some other interesting statistics that were outlined by the OPP are:

  • Of the 175 investigated motorcycle fatalities from 2008 to 2014, 168 of the victims were the driver, 7 were passengers.
  • 156 of the victims were men, 19 were women.

Motorcycle deaths are on the rise. The legal cases that arise out of them are complicated and require a specialist. I recommend a lawyer who specializes in personal injury law and is familiar with motorcycle cases. At Santucci Personal Injury Law we recognize that being involved in a motorcycle accident is traumatic. Injuries are often serious or even fatal. We are here to help you and your family to wade through the legal process and obtain the compensation that you are entitled to.

Victims of motorcycle accidents and their families often cannot afford to pay a lawyer’s retainer and hourly rates. Here at Santucci Personal Injury Law, we work on contingency basis, meaning that the lawyer will be paid their fees only when your claim is successfully resolved. If you do not recover anything, we do not charge any fees. We also offer an initial free consultation to talk about your motorcycle case.

Further reading: The article that appeared in the Toronto Star.

About the Author Patricia Santucci

Patricia Santucci is a personal injury lawyer born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. She holds several degrees having attended King’s College at the University of Western Ontario, McMaster University, earned a Master of Arts degree at the University of Windsor and an Ontario Teaching Degree from Teacher’s College as well as her Ontario Teaching Certificate. After graduating from the University of Alberta law school she was called to the bar in 2000. You can find Patricia on and LinkedIn or directly through this website