Motorcycles cause 10 percent of vehicle deaths in Ontario

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Motorcycles cause 10 percent of vehicle deaths in Ontario
Motorcycles cause 10 percent of vehicle deaths in Ontario

Motorcyclists in Ontario are three times more likely to be injured in a collision than people in automobiles, 10 times more likely to suffer serious injuries and those injuries will cost more to treat, says new study.

The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre — Canada’s largest trauma centre — and the University of Toronto also found motorcycle crashes cost Ontario health care system six times the amount of car crashes, 10 times the severe injuries, and five times the deaths.

“The cause for alarm is that when you do get into an accident, the results of a motorcycle collision are much more devastating,” said Dr. Daniel Pincus, one of the study’s co-authors.

“Some specific injuries, which we see clinically, are really bad extremity injuries, mangled extremities, bad chest injuries.”

Researchers studied crash victims who came to the hospital in Ontario between 2007 and 2013. The stats showed 26,831 people were injured in motorcycle accidents compared to 281,826 injured in car collisions.

Pincus said motorcycles have always been more dangerous than cars due to the driver’s exposure to the road, but that hasn’t translated into better safety measures.

“What we didn’t know was the cost so we think this can be an added argument to improve motorcycle safety,” said Pincus, an orthopaedic resident physician at Sunnybrook Hospital.

“The answer is not for people to stop driving motorcycles. A lot of people enjoy riding them. The answer, I think, is trying to improve safety and try to improve preventable causes,” he added. “In Ontario, we’re actually probably doing a better job. There’s mandated helmet legislation; a lot of places in the states there isn’t.”

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