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Ohio Drivers Reminded to Share the Road with Motorcyclists

The scene of a motorcycle accident, with a blue motorcycle on the ground after being hit by a blue car.

As Ohio welcomes the peak of motorcycle riding season, there is a notable increase in the number of motorcyclists on its roads. With more than half a million registered motorcycles throughout Ohio, knowing how to share the road with motorcyclists has become a pressing issue.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Motorcycle Ohio, a division of the Ohio Traffic Safety Office, is ramping up its efforts to promote motorcycle safety. This initiative is especially timely, given that May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

To help prevent injuries and fatalities from motorcycle accidents, drivers are urged to be extra vigilant, particularly when changing lanes, at intersections, and on highways. Sharing the road safely with motorcyclists could be the difference between life and death.

Ohio motorcycle accident statistics

Ohio’s motorcycle accident statistics paint a grim picture: in 2023 alone, 230 Ohioans lost their lives in motorcycle-related incidents. This reflects a sharp 47% rise in motorcyclist fatalities over the past five years.

About 82% of motorcycle crashes in Ohio occur between May and October, which are the most active riding months in the state. While this period offers ideal weather conditions for riding, it also brings increased risks due to higher traffic volumes.

What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents?

When it comes to motorcycle accidents in Ohio, the actions of other drivers on the road often play a significant role. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Failure to check blind spots: Many motorcycle accidents occur when drivers fail to adequately check their blind spots before changing lanes or making turns. Due to their smaller size, motorcycles can easily go unnoticed, leading to collisions.
  • Unsafe lane changes: Drivers who make sudden or unsafe lane changes without signaling or properly checking for nearby motorcycles put bikers at risk of collisions. These abrupt maneuvers can catch motorcyclists off guard and lead to serious accidents.
  • Distracted driving: Distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, or engaging in other activities while driving divert a driver's attention from the road. This can result in delayed reactions to motorcycles and an increased likelihood of accidents.
  • Failing to yield the right of way: Motorists who fail to yield the right of way to motorcycles when required, such as at intersections or when merging, can cause accidents. Ignoring traffic signals or signs can result in collisions with motorcyclists who have the right of way.
  • Speeding: Excessive speeding reduces a driver's ability to react to changing road conditions and increases the severity of accidents. Drivers who exceed the speed limit may not be able to stop in time to avoid collisions with motorcycles, leading to catastrophic outcomes.
  • Following too closely: Tailgating or following motorcycles too closely reduces the driver's reaction time and increases the risk of rear-end collisions. Maintaining a safe following distance is crucial to prevent accidents, especially involving motorcycles.
  • Making left-hand turns: Left-turn accidents are a common cause of motorcycle collisions, particularly when drivers misjudge the speed or distance of approaching motorcycles. Failing to yield to oncoming motorcycles when making left-hand turns can result in serious accidents.
  • Driving under the influence: Drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs pose a significant danger to motorcyclists and other road users. Impaired drivers have reduced reaction times and impaired judgment, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
  • Fatigue: Fatigued drivers may exhibit similar impairments to intoxicated drivers, including reduced reaction times and impaired judgment. Drowsy driving can lead to inattentiveness and errors that put motorcyclists at risk.
  • Aggressive driving behavior: Aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and road rage can intimidate and endanger motorcyclists. Drivers who engage in aggressive behavior increase the risk of accidents and collisions with motorcycles on the road.

How Motorcycle Ohio is encouraging road safety for motorcyclists

Motorcycle Ohio was established under the Ohio Revised Code with the primary mission to promote motorcycle safety and education throughout the state. Celebrating its 36th anniversary in 2024, the program helps enhance the skills of Ohio’s motorcyclists and improve the overall safety of the state’s roadways.

Each year, roughly 12,000 riders commit to safer riding by completing a Motorcycle Ohio training course. These courses are designed to educate new and experienced riders about the basic and advanced techniques necessary for safe riding. It also instills responsible riding habits that can significantly decrease the likelihood of motorcycle accidents.

In response to the growing demand for motorcycle safety training, Motorcycle Ohio has expanded its reach. Courses are now offered at training sites in 33 counties across the state, with registrations nearing record highs.

Hurt in a motorcycle crash in Ohio? Get help from a skilled attorney

If you or a loved one was hurt in a motorcycle accident in Ohio, Gervelis Law Firm stands ready to investigate and hold responsible parties accountable.

Our attorneys can cover every aspect of your case, from gathering medical records to negotiating with insurance companies. With extensive experience in handling motorcycle accident cases, we take a compassionate approach to representing our clients and diligently pursuing justice.

Contact us online or call us to schedule a free consultation. We have law offices across Ohio, including in Toledo, Canfield, Youngstown, Akron, Columbus, and Warren.

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