It is something every rider dreads: an accident. Statistically speaking, 64% of motorcycle accidents in Ontario result in the rider being hospitalized. About 5% of accidents are fatal for the rider. The good news is, of 145,194 licensed motorcycles, less than 1% actually had accidents.
There is much debate (and plenty of statistics) concerning the causes of accidents, ranging from inebriation, lack of proper protective equipment, and excessive speed. It is my belief that awareness of two-wheeled vehicles and appropriate driving near them can go a long way to preventing accidents.
With the increase of scooters and mopeds in urban centers, city drivers are becoming more aware of two wheel vehicles and most – but certainly not all – are driving accordingly. In my experience suburban drivers are more careless around motorcycles, probably due to a lack of awareness and the lower volume of scooters and mopeds.
The question then becomes, “How to raise awareness amongst all drivers of safe driving techniques around two wheeled vehicles?”
Certainly this will be an ongoing effort that I will continue to write about.
There are many great resources online for stats, driving techniques, and safety procedures. I’ll share some helpful links I’ve come across for both riders and car drivers:
1. There is a great forum for Toronto-area riders called Gtamotorcycle. In particular, they have a “Laws & Regulations” forum that is very helpful, and a “Why we crash” thread I found a particularly interesting read.
2. I recently found an article in Motorcycle Consumer News about statistics that insurance companies use when discussing the frequency and causes of accidents. I couldn’t find the article online, but someone had posted some scans of it here. If you can find the article please share in the comments.
3. In 1981 the state of California completed a motorcycle accident survey. The results were published in a report titled ‘The Hurt Report’. While it is an older study and focuses on California, there are many tips here that are relevant today and any where you may ride. A summary can be found here.
4. Last year Wheels.ca had a good article that focused on motorcycle accidents in Ontario. The article was based on the 2005 Ontario Road Safety Annual Report (ORSAR) and shares some interesting statistics. The article can be found here.
Of course safety is always a concern and we will continue to write about this subject as topics arise. We encourage discussion on the topic and welcome links to other reports, articles, or stories to help spread awareness of rider safety.