A long, winding stretch of smoothly paved road can be the ultimate temptation for motorcycle enthusiasts across Ontario. While riding a motorcycle can provide a relaxing escape, riders need to be aware of the high risk of personal injury related to their pastime.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, failing to properly protect your body through the use of an approved motorcycle helmet and other protective equipment can have serious consequences, including spinal cord injury.
Ontario Motorcycle Accident Cause Statistics
One way to prevent spinal cord injuries, head injuries and orthopaedic injuries that can result during bike accidents is to be aware of the causes of motorcycle accidents. Statistics released by the Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) revealed that some of the most significant relevant factors in serious motorcycle accidents (PDF) included:
- Speed too fast
- Loss of control
- Helmet not worn
- Under 25 years old
- Single vehicle collisions
Causes of Spinal Cord Injury
Source: Canadian Paraplegic Association
Car Collision: 35%
Other Motor Vehicle Collision: 6.2%
Spinal cord injuries can involve one or more of the body’s 33 vertebrae that make up your spinal column. Injuries range in severity from a complete injury, when the spinal cord has been fully severed, to incomplete spinal cord injuries, which may involve a fracture, fragment, displacement, compression, tear or other damage to the spine, vertebrae and nerve cells along your spinal column.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries:
- Paraplegia is the paralysis of the lower extremities and part or all of the trunk muscles. Usually there is a loss of sensation in paralyzed limbs and other effects such as muscle spasms, pain and loss of bowel and bladder control.
- Quadriplegia occurs when there is damage to the spinal cord in the Cervical region. This will cause impairment to the hands and arms in addition to the effects of paraplegia.
- Hemiplegia is the paralysis of one side of the body as a result of a stroke or traumatic brain injury and should not be confused with paraplegia or quadriplegia. With paraplegia and quadriplegia the brain is not affected. With hemiplegia, there may be an impairment of intellect, personality, speech or senses.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
Helmets save lives, and are required in Ontario by law – according to the Ministry of Transportation Ontario almost 10% of riders killed and almost 15% of riders injured in collisions were not wearing helmets.
- Always wear an approved motorcycle helmet and protective gear when riding.
- High-quality riding gear can protect you in the event of a fall or collision. Always wear long sleeves and pants to protect your skin.
- Consider wearing a jacket with padding in the shoulders and elbows, leather gloves and pants and boots. Ensure that protective gear does not interfere with riding or controls.
- Wear bright colours, such as red, yellow or orange or reflective clothing to make yourself more visible to other motorists.
- Many motorcycle collisions occur between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Always ride with lights on to increase visibility
How an Ontario Injury Lawyer Can Help With your Motorcycle Crash
We have access to a variety of trusted and respected medical experts and health care professionals that can describe the effects and outcomes of a spinal cord injury at trial and demonstrate in court how these types of injuries will affect injured persons for the rest of their lives. We also work with medical and life planning experts who can provide evidence about the “future medical costs” of caring for someone with a spinal cord injury.
Our lawyers offer free, no-obligation consultations. Contact us for help with seeking compensation for motorcycle accident injuries.