Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is observed in May
Motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation and a source of enjoyment for many Ohioans. However, riding a motorcycle comes with risks when other drivers are negligent. Ohio has experienced a concerning pattern of increased motorcycle accidents and fatalities during the warmer months, particularly between May and October. The spring and summer bring an influx of motorcyclists onto the roads, resulting in a sharp uptick in crashes and tragic outcomes. The historical data on these accidents underscore the importance of sharing the road and watching out for bikers.
Ohio motorcycle accident statistics
According to a recent report by News 5 Cleveland, from 2018 to 2022, there were nearly 19,000 crashes involving motorcycles in Ohio that resulted in the tragic deaths of over 950 motorcyclists during that period. Additionally, more than 5,300 motorcyclists suffered injuries in these incidents.
Ohio has witnessed an alarming increase in motorcycle deaths in recent years. Specifically, in 2021, there were 212 motorcycle fatalities, and last year, there were 209. These figures represent a more than 30 percent increase compared to previous years.
Another concerning trend from the data is the concentration of motorcycle accidents between May and October. According to state records, more than 80 percent of motorcycle crashes in Ohio occur during this period.
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) plays a crucial role in promoting motorcycle safety throughout the state. The OSHP actively collaborates with organizations, educational institutions, and communities to raise awareness about motorcycle safety. They also conduct educational campaigns, enforce traffic laws, and provide resources and training programs to enhance the knowledge and skills of motorcyclists.
Wearing a helmet and undergoing proper training are two essential components of motorcycle safety. Helmets are the most effective protective gear for motorcyclists, significantly reducing the risk of head injuries and fatalities in accidents. Motorcycle endorsement training, offered by certified instructors, ensures that riders possess the necessary skills, knowledge, and understanding of safe riding practices.
However, motorcycle safety is not solely the responsibility of motorcyclists. Other motorists must recognize and respect the rights of bikers on the road, provide adequate space, and remain attentive to their presence. Safe driving practices, such as avoiding distracted driving, adhering to speed limits, and using turn signals, are critical to preventing accidents involving motorcycles. Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month serves as a reminder that safety on the road is a shared responsibility, emphasizing the need for mutual respect, awareness, and cooperation between all road users.
How drivers can safely share the road with bikers
- Be aware and attentive: Always be alert and pay attention to your surroundings, scanning for motorcycles. Check blind spots before changing lanes or turning, as motorcycles can easily be hidden from view.
- Allow adequate space: Give motorcycles ample space on the road. Motorcycles are smaller and can maneuver faster than cars, so leave a safe following distance and avoid tailgating.
- Use turn signals: Signal your intentions early and clearly. This allows motorcyclists to anticipate your actions and adjust their riding accordingly.
- Check intersections carefully: Intersections are common locations for accidents involving motorcycles. Take an extra moment to check for approaching motorcycles before turning left or proceeding through an intersection.
- Do not drive distracted: Avoid distractions such as using your phone, eating, or adjusting the radio while driving. Keep your focus solely on the road and your surroundings.
- Be cautious during lane changes: Check mirrors and blind spots thoroughly before changing lanes. Also, remember that motorcycles may be harder to see due to their smaller size.
- Do not underestimate motorcycle speed: Motorcycles can accelerate quickly and may be traveling faster than they appear. Be cautious when judging their speed, and make sure to yield the right of way, especially when turning left.
- Respect motorcyclists' space in traffic: Motorcyclists may need to change position within their own lane to avoid hazards. Allow them the necessary space, and do not crowd them. Never share a lane with a biker.
- Be patient and courteous: Motorcycles may need to maneuver differently in traffic, so be patient and allow them to navigate safely.
- Check before opening doors: When parked on the side of the road, check for approaching motorcycles before opening your car door. This helps prevent accidents known as "dooring" incidents.
Contact a Cleveland, OH motorcycle accident lawyer
Bikers face unique hazards on the road due to the lack of protective barriers that other vehicles offer. As a result, even a low-speed collision can result in serious injuries or fatalities. In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident in Ohio, it is crucial to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney who can protect your rights and aggressively advocate for your best interests.
At Merriman Legal, LLC, our Cleveland motorcycle accident attorneys take a meticulous approach to gathering evidence, uncovering the truth, and building airtight legal cases. Insurance companies often try to leverage biases against motorcyclists to protect their bottom line, so it's essential to be prepared and have an aggressive lawyer by your side.
When you make our team your team, you can trust that we prioritize your best interests. Don't leave your future to chance. Contact our Cleveland-based law firm today to schedule a no-cost consultation. We proudly serve motorcycle accident victims throughout Ohio and are ready to fight for the financial compensation you deserve.