Although, motorcycle’s share of vehicle population in Ontario is 2.1%, motorcycles have a higher fatality rate per unit of distance traveled when compared with automobiles. According to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, in 2007, the total number of motorcycles involved in traffic accidents was 2,654 where 54 people were killed and 1,693 – injured.
Main risk factors related to motorcycle injuries, but not limited to, were being an unlicensed driver, under 25 years of age, alcohol use, helmet not worn (fatalities), driver error, other error, single vehicle collisions, weekend and day/night.
Motorcycle safety concerns many aspects of vehicle and equipment design as well as operator skill and training that are unique to motorcycle riding. One of the main reasons motorcyclists are killed in crashes is because the motorcycle itself provides virtually no protection in a crash. If for any mishap, a motorcycle accident took place, several common types of severe injuries occur including:
- Head and brain injury (including concussions) as the head violently contacts other vehicles or objects: riders wearing a proper helmet significantly reduce the risk of death. There were no reported accidents in which the helmet caused a serious neck injury.
- Breakage of joints (most common breakages are elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and wrists)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Permanent physical and emotional scars
Many motorcycle accidents happened simply because other drivers did not see the motorcyclist. Some collisions involve failing to yield to a motorcyclist who is legally making maneuvers on the road (for example, turning left in front of oncoming traffic). Lots of the fatal motorcycle accidents show alcohol or drug involvement.