Motorcycle deaths heading for 7-year high in Ontario

Watch above: Carey Marsden explains why accidents are highest among men aged 45 and older. 

TORONTO – Ontario Provincial Police say motorcycle related deaths this year may reach a seven-year high.

And police say most of those who’ve died are older men.

Recent numbers show there have been 26 motorcycle fatalities so far this year with at least two more months in the riding season to go.

Police say the actions of other drivers are often the cause of the fatal motorcycle accidents and contributed to the accident in 50 of the last 175 fatal collisions.

“Other than a careless few that we come across during our enforcement operations, the OPP believes that Ontario motorcyclists in general recognize that they are a vulnerable road user and demonstrate safe, defensive driving,” said OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair in a media release.

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And Amrit Toor, a British Columbia-based forensic engineer who specializes in accident reconstruction said drivers focus on the cars, not the motorcycles, around them.

“They are so focused on looking for other vehicles, and by other vehicles, I mean four-wheeled vehicles,” he said.

WATCH: Ontario Provincial Police Sergeant Kerry Schmidt talks about how motorcycle deaths on our city roads could reach a seven-year high.

Regardless, police are reminding motorcyclists to wear highly visible clothing and stay out of cars’ blind spots.

Police are also reminding drivers to watch out for motorcycle riders.

Earlier this month, OPP clocked a motorcyclist travelling at 210 kilometres per hour and was subsequently charged with stunt driving.

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Police say there’s a misconception in the public domain about the age of riders involved in fatal crashes and the subsequent road conditions.

“The biggest demographic of motorcyclists being killed are 45 years and older and most of these collisions are occurring during the daytime hours between noon and six o’clock at night on clear, dry roads and sunny conditions,” said OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt.

According to police, there have been 175 motorcycle deaths from 2008 to 2014 with 168 of the victims being the driver and seven passengers.

Men were attributed to 156 of the deaths and 19 were women.

Below is a list of top contributing factors:

Speed: Factor in 43 of the deaths.

Lost Control: Factor in 29 of the deaths.

Alcohol: Factor in 21 of the deaths.

Fail to Yield: Factor in 20 of the deaths.

Inattention: Factor in 18 of the deaths.


-With files from The Canadian Press

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