Warmer weather brings reminder to watch for motorcyclists

With the nice weather upon us, we are starting to hear the roar of motorcycles on our roads, but the season comes with a reminder to drive carefully after OPP reported 11 motorcycle fatalities in our region in 2018.

Frank Divinszki knows he’s lucky to be alive, “You never think it would happen to you you know, one minute you’re all fine and the next minute your life can change,” he says.

It was in Oct. 2017 that Divinszki's life changed, when his motorcycle was hit by a pickup truck.

His wife Heather Bowen-Sandham says she will never forget seeing her husband in the ambulance.

“Not a good thing for anybody to see, I will never lose that picture and it’s not something you want to re-live, but you re-live it everyday.”

Divinszki suffered injuries to his face, head, arm, legs, ribs and heart. He was wearing his helmet and protective gear, but he says he is still recovering to this day.

“I have to adapt to doing stuff differently sometimes, and all that...it is frustrating.”

Trauma cases are some of the most life-altering, say staff at the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).

They are reminding motorcyclists and drivers to be cautious heading into the summer months

Jennifer Lindsay, injury prevention specialist at LHSC, says, “Specifically for adult trauma cases last year, we saw approximately 350 cases last summer with a majority of them from our roadways like motor vehicle crashes."

Lindsay says trauma staff at LHSC handled 35 serious motorcycle crash patients last year.

“For our motorcyclists we want them to be in visible clothing so they can be seen by drivers and for our car drivers we want them to be aware other forms of transportation and drivers are on the roadways now."

It's a message that Bowen-Sandham hopes will get through to both motorcyclists and drivers, “You don’t realize it can happen in a second and you can change your life, and someone else’s and it’s not just one person, it’s families.”

According to the OPP, the number of motorcycle fatalities in Ontario has not dropped significantly over the last few years.

There were 36 motorcycle fatalities in Ontario in 2018, 48 in 2017 and 36 in 2016.

From 2009 to 2018, OPP say 24 per cent of motorcycle fatalities happened in August and 26 per cent of motorcyclist fatalities happened on a Sunday.