Ontario motorcycle deaths in 2017 are rising at an alarming rate

Motorcycle deaths in Ontario so far in 2017 are already almost as high they were for all of 2016.

The riding season is far from over, but already this year's one has seen almost the same number of motorcycle fatalities as were recorded for all of 2016, according to CP24 News. As of August 24, Ontario has had 30 motorcyclists killed in accidents, which is just six fatalities short of the entire number of fatalities recorded in 2016. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) notes that all of the fatal motorcycle accidents occurred in dry and clear conditions and that most of the motorcyclists killed were actually abiding by the rules of the road when their accidents happened.

A deadly riding season

Last year there were a total of 36 motorcycle riders (which includes both drivers and passengers) who were killed in accidents on Ontario's roads and highways. So far this year, with at least two months of the riding season left, there have been 30 motorcyclist fatalities. That steep rise is especially alarming given that 2016 had already been the deadliest year for motorcycle accidents in the province in a decade.

Interestingly, all of the fatal accidents that have occurred this year happened during dry, clear conditions, suggesting that weather has not been a factor in the increase. Alcohol was a factor in six of the accidents, while distracted driving, speeding, and improper turning were also factors in a number of accidents. The OPP say they have also seen a rise in the number of older riders getting killed in these accidents. Seventeen of the motorcyclists killed were between the ages 45 and 64.

Tougher licensing requirements needed?

The fact that most of the motorcyclists killed were middle-aged and older men reflects the fact that motorcycling has become an especially popular activity among Baby Boomers in recent years. However, in many cases, that has meant that individuals who have not ridden a bike in decades are getting back on with little training.

In fact, as CBC News reports, the licensing requirements for motorcyclists in Ontario are low, with just a written test a nd vision test enough to qualify for a motorcycle license. No road test is required, something that some safety advocates would like to see changed.

At the same time, it is also important to point out that in 18 of the 30 fatalities that have occurred this year, the motorcycle drivers were actually following the rules of the road. That figure suggests that many motorcycle accidents are a result of other drivers not adequately sharing the road.

Help after an accident

A motorcycle accident can be particularly devastating since motorcyclists obviously are more exposed than drivers of enclosed vehicles are. That can make the recovery process after a motorcycle accident especially long and difficult. Anybody who has been hurt in such an accident should get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can help victims understand what legal avenues are available after an accident and assist them with pursuing whatever compensation they may be entitled to.