Ohio may not be known as a state with great weather, but that doesn’t stop motorcyclists from cruising the roadways. Last year, Ohio became one of the top 5 states for the highest number of registered motorcyclists—there were 750,000 registered bikers!
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and, as of 2015, Ohio is in need of major safety awareness for motorcyclists. Motorcycle and passenger vehicle accidents have been increasing over the past year, but what many don’t realize is these injuries and fatalities can be prevented.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. James Faunda noted that in 2015 there were 3,700 motorcycle accidents and 163 of those resulted in fatalities.
Most drivers are aware of the phrase “Share the Road” in reference to motorcyclists, but do drivers truly take that phrase to heart and drive with caution during motorcycle season?
Lt. Faunda also stated there has been a 16% increase in motorcycle crash fatalities since the previous year. While fault lies on passenger vehicles and motorcyclists, all drivers must heed to safety over everything.
Any time you get on the road, follow these motorcycle safety tips at all times.
- Follow traffic laws and use proper techniques. This applies to both motorcyclists and passenger vehicles. Use turn signals, follow designated speed limits, reduce speed limit in construction zones, and always check blind spots before changing lanes. These simple things can often be a life-changing factor and, sadly, the most frequent factors that can lead to accidents if not followed.
- Wear protective gear when riding a motorcycle. Although Ohio law only requires drivers 17 and younger to wear helmets, motorcyclists of all age should consider wearing helmets and other protective gear to reduce injury. Statistics show that over two thirds of fatalities were not wearing helmets.
- Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and those in front of you. This tip is especially important when you are behind a motorcyclist. Keeping a safe distance can protect both you and the motorcyclist in case they need to stop suddenly. Even a small “love tap” to a motorcycle can result in major injury. Three or four seconds is typically a safe follow distance.
- Do not drive under the influence. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only illegal but can seriously impair a driver’s judgement. This includes judgement in distance and speed, and the results of misjudgment can be fatal. A third of 2015’s accident fatalities were caused by drug/alcohol impairment.
- Be vigilant at all times. While motorcycle safety awareness needs increased publicity, insurance claim statistics show single-vehicle motorcycle accident claims were higher than rear-end, intersection and unrecovered accidents combined! Motorcyclists and passenger vehicle drivers must be aware of their surroundings at all times.
If you or someone you love were injured in a motorcycle accident, you will want an experienced attorney that can navigate you through the process.
As your Ohio car accident lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (800) 556-4769.