Victoria/Fraser Valley – It is at times, a tense marriage on the roads between cars, trucks and motorcycles. The bottom line is when there is an accident, motorcycles usually lose.
The provincial numbers back that up, so far in 2018.
Based on preliminary data, 30 people died in motorcycle crashes from January through July 2018, with 18 in July alone. This is more than double the number of motorcycle-involved deaths occurring from January to July 2017.
Following this spike in motorcyclist deaths this summer, the BC Coroners Service is reminding all road users to be cautious and safe on the long weekend, given the expected increased activity on provincial roads and highways.
Key trends in motorcycle fatalities over the past decade include:
- Motorcyclist speed and impairment continue to be the leading contributing factors;
- The majority (83%) of decedents resided in B.C.;
- Nine in every 10 decedents were male; and,
- The Interior and Fraser health authority regions had the highest number of motorcyclist deaths (in 2018 to date, 12 and 10 deaths respectively — making up 73% of all motorcyclist deaths).
A detailed BC Coroners Service study of the factors that contributed to motorcycling deaths in all concluded investigations from 2008 through 2018 found that, overall, factors relating to the motorcyclist and/or motorcycle contributed to 70% of all fatalities. The study found that motorcyclist speed and motorcyclist impairment were each contributory to more than one-third of all deaths.
The study also found that environmental factors, such as slippery roads, contributed to 23% of the deaths, and factors related to other motor vehicles and their drivers contributed to 14%.
Over the past decade, more than half of decedents were injured in the summer months, and motorcyclists were more likely to be injured on Saturdays (25% of deaths) and Sundays (20% of deaths) than on the other five days of the week.