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Motorcycle accidents three times the annual average, says N.S. doctor

WATCH ABOVE: With the warmer weather it’s common to see more motorcycles on the road. What is unusual this year is the spike in the number of accidents and that has police and doctors concerned. Global’s Dave Squires reports.

HALIFAX – According to the head of Trauma Nova Scotia, there have been three times the annual  average of traumatic injuries from motorcycle accidents in July.

The numbers have them stumped.

“It’s remarkable to all of us,” said Dr. Rob Green. “We can’t really explain it but it’s much higher than previous years. This year, just in July, 47 per cent of all of our major trauma in Nova Scotia is involving a motorcycle.”

Green said there is no single thing that points to why there have been so many crashes this month. It could include a multitude of factors such as good weather, driver inexperience and road conditions that are causing traumatic injuries.

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“We’re seeing severe trauma, these are multi-system trauma patients from severe traumatic brain injuries to torso trauma to compromising of limbs,” he said.

Sgt. Stephen Calder with the Halifax Regional Police have responded to a number of these accidents and say many times accidents are a result of human error.

They stress that motorcyclists and drivers need to be aware of each other.

“The most common accidents that we’ve been experiencing are coming into contact with other vehicles and quite often it is the error of the person driving the car but sometimes that’s also compounded by the operator of the motorcycle driving too fast,” said Sgt. Calder.

Motorcycle training courses are mandatory in Nova Scotia for bikers to be on the road. But Sgt. Calder says it’s always a good idea to take a refresher course and practice before you hit the roads and highways after the winter break.

“Each year it takes a little bit of refreshing to get back and to get your wits about you and manoeuvre that motorcycle like you need to be in traffic.”

Police say it’s also vital to wear the proper and approved motorcycle gear to prevent serious injury.