Ontario motorcyclists three times more likely to be injured than car drivers

Published: November 21, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



If you are a motorcyclist in Ontario, you are three times more likely to be injured in a collision than motorists in vehicles. A new study also shows that bikers are 10 times more likely to suffer a serious injury and will pay more to treat the injuries.

Research out of the University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Science was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The researchers followed Ontario-based adults who ended up in hospital after an auto or motorcycle collision between 2007 and 2013. Then the cost of treatment over a two-year period was calculated.

Treatments for injuries sustained by motorcycle crashes cost (on average) nearly twice as much as car crashes, $5,825 compared to $2,995.

“We found that motorcyclists were much more likely to have severe extremity injuries – even mangled extremities or traumatic amputations,” said Dr. Daniel Pincus, an orthopedic resident physician at Sunnybrook, and an author on the study.

Injury rates for motorcycle collisions were triple of those of automobile accidents, 2,194 per year per 100,000 registered motorcycles. There were 718 injuries each year per 100,000 automobiles in Ontario.

“When a crash does happen the result seemed to be more devastating consistently for a motorcyclist,” Pincus said.

The research was extensive, covering 281,826 injured car crashes and 26,831 injured motorcyclists. 81 per cent of patients involved in a motorcycle-related collision were male, while 57 per cent of automobile patients were female.

“Despite publicly available data indicating that the risk associated with driving a motorcycle is much greater than that associated with driving an automobile, this knowledge has not translated to improvements in motorcycle safety,” the authors write.

“The number of people dying related to motorcycle crashes in Ontario is worse today than it was in 1997,” Pincus added. “Some of it will never be preventable as motorcycle trauma’s always going to be worse.”