Motorcycle deaths headed towards seven-year high, says OPP

Photo: Wikimedia/Nick3501

The Ontario Provincial Police say motorcycle deaths are headed towards a seven-year high at the rate things are going.

According to the OPP, 26 motorcyclists have died so far this year in Ontario as of this week’s start (25 riders and one passenger). With two more months left in the riding season, they reckon this season could be the deadliest in years for the province’s bikers.

Along with their usual urge for caution and veiled threats about stunting laws, the OPP had some other interesting stats they shared in their press release. For instance, everyone thinks it’s young squids who are out there dying on the streets. But guess what? Of the 175 motorcyclists who’ve died between 2008 and 2014, only 16 were under the age of 25.

Of course, one could argue that’s because most people under age 25 can’t afford to pay for motorcycle insurance …

The OPP also shared some other interesting stats. They said 50 of those 175 accidents were caused when the motorcyclist was riding properly at the time; in other words, they were killed by an inattentive cager. And of those 175 crashes, the OPP said 158 of them happened on dry roads, so slippery pavement isn’t a huge factor in rider deaths.

Of the 175 deaths, 156 were male riders, with only 19 female fatalities. The OPP reckons speed was a factor in 43 of the fatalities, and “loss of control” caused 29 deaths. Alcohol was a factor in 21 of the deaths, failure to yield caused 20 crashes, and inattention caused 18 crashes.


  1. Been riding 30+ years or more….have never seen it this bad!
    From stop sign ignorers to gas station pullouts with out looking or the famous left turn into opposing traffic trick….

  2. It’s the women riders. They seem to be everywhere. And they distract the male riders. Who then crash due to target fixation.
    On a more serious note, I recall reading that a disproportionate number of accidents involved riders who had ridden in their early years, stopped for a couple of decades and when they came back, just assumed that their riding skills were adequate. Looking back on my resuming riding after a 20 year break, I wonder how I ever survived the first couple of years. I came back to riding on a 650; the largest bike I had ridden in my earlier days was a 350. My skills were not really up to par, but I survived due to inherent cowardice.

  3. ” Of course, one could argue that’s because most people under age 25 can’t afford to pay for motorcycle insurance …”

    When is someone in the motojournalism fraternity going to take apart the insurance racket and show it for what it is – a cash grab ?
    When it costs someone under the age of 25 more to insure a 600cc sportbike than a Dodge Viper ($12K/yr) there’s something really wrong here….

  4. I’ve been riding for 51 years and I have never seen so much inattention paid to the road by others as I have this year. It just gets worse and worse. Even the tractor trailer drivers that I used to have so much respect for are now wandering all over the road, at least around this area (the Maritimes), while they fiddle with this or that while behind the wheel. Actually I just ordered a dash cam for my bike as I know it will soon be needed in court. I just hope I will be around to attend the sessions.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. I watched a guy who was messing with his cell drive straight into a concrete divider the other night north of Detroit. I94E around Masonic for those that may know the area. He was coming up to the bend and just kept going straight ,,,, bang… right into the wall.

      I’ve been driving Big Trucks for 20 yrs and I’ll agree, lots of wheel holders out there, not many Drivers left anymore.

      Stay safe

  5. As with all statistics, they only give glimpse into what really happened/is happening.
    What were the numbers in previous years? 26 over 25 is still a record, but not necessarily significant or telling in any way.
    Were there more riders on the road this year than previous? In 2008 the economy & motorcycle industry crashed (pun intended), and numbers have been slowly recovering since.
    Any increase in impaired riders?
    Are riders getting older in general, with a corresponding decrease in reaction times?
    What is the breakdown of urban vs. suburban vs. rural crashes ?
    How many were single vehicle vs. contact with another vehicle? did that proportion change over previous years?

    So many questions, so little information.

    • You’ve got all the information the OPP gave us. I’m sure you could peel apart a lot more, but after a while your sample size is so small that it gets a bit ridiculous trying to interpret anyway.

  6. Breaking the numbers down, it looks like:
    38% – bad riders (combined loss of control, failure to yield and inattention)
    28% – bad drivers (but there’s always – what more could the rider have done to avoid a collision?)
    24% – speeding
    12% – impaired
    9% – weather

    It adds up to 111% (I know, my math skills aren’t great) but the numbers show rider skill or lack thereof is the biggest contributor to fatalities.

Join the conversation!