ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE
With hunters and off-road enthusiasts taking advantage of the fall riding season, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is partnering with the Ontario Federation of ATV Clubs (OFATV) to remind all off-roaders to do their part to stay safe.
The OPP has responded to 20 fatal off-road vehicle collisions this year, an 18 per cent increase over the 17 fatal collisions at this time last year (2018).
The incidents have cost 16 off-road vehicle drivers and four passengers their lives. OPP investigations revealed that more than half (12) of the deceased were not wearing a helmet during their ride. Losing control was a contributing factor in half (10) of the fatalities and has been the leading factor in off-road vehicle deaths for the last four years (2016-2019).
At least eight of this year's deaths involved alcohol/drugs - another dangerous behaviour that costs off-road vehicle drivers and passengers their lives every year. At least 10 of last year's fatalities were alcohol/drug-related.
"Every year, our collision data tells us that the majority of off-road vehicle deaths involve riders who underestimate the risks of riding without a helmet, fail to maintain control of their vehicle or drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Whether you are hunting by off-road vehicle this fall or simply out for a ride, make every ride a safe one for you and your passengers," said Deputy Commissioner Rose DiMarco, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support.
"Off-roading, hunting and camping are great ways to enjoy the outdoors this fall. Many of us love to enjoy it with family and friends so please remember that safety is not only about you. It's also about the safety of your passengers and others who are out enjoying the sport with you. Remember the basics such as always wearing a helmet and riding within your abilities. Don't become a statistic," said Denise Erickson, General Manager, Ontario Federation of ATV Clubs.
Quick Fact: More than half of the drivers and passengers who have died in off-road vehicle collisions in the past 10 years (2009-2019) were not wearing a helmet.