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Motorcycle Ohio Raises Awareness for Motorcycle Safety

A blue motorcycle on the hood of a blue car at the scene of a motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle accidents have become increasingly common in recent years in Ohio. That’s why Motorcycle Ohio is making an extra effort this month as part of National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to educate the public about the dangers bikers face on the road.

“There are over 500,000 registered motorcycles on Ohio’s roadways, and safety is everyone’s responsibility,” Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Andy Wilson said in an announcement. “All drivers must look twice on the highway, at intersections, and any time they are changing lanes – you may just save someone’s life.”

Understanding Ohio motorcycle accidents

So, just how bad are motorcycle accidents in Ohio? How does the state compare to others in terms of motorcycle crashes? What are the common causes of motorcycle accidents? And what can drivers and bikers do to prevent motorcycle crashes in Ohio? Here’s what Ohio drivers need to know.

Record number of motorcycle accident fatalities in Ohio

For the second year in a row, Ohio set a record for the total number of motorcycle accident fatalities in a single year. In 2022 and 2023, a total of 230 people died each year in motorcycle crashes in Ohio, according to WFMJ 21 News and Those annual figures are 47 percent higher than Ohio’s motorcycle accident death toll for 2018 and the highest number of motorcycle fatalities for a single year since at least 2013, according to accident data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

How does Ohio compare to other states for motorcycle crashes?

Motorcycle accidents that result in fatalities are more common in Ohio than in many other states. In 2020, motorcycle accident fatalities accounted for 17 percent of all motor vehicle deaths in the state, according to a study conducted by Forbes.

To put such numbers in perspective, the national average for motorcycle accident fatalities is 15 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities involving motorcyclists, according to the latest NHTSA motorcycle accident data.

The nationwide death toll for motorcycle accident fatalities also set new records in 2021 (6,084 deaths nationwide) and 2022 (6,218 deaths), the highest single-year motorcycle accident death toll since at least 1975, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

What are the common causes of Ohio motorcycle accidents?

Motorcycle accidents often occur because of mistakes made by other drivers on the road. Some of the most common reasons why motorcycle accidents occur include:

  • Speeding, which accounts for 34 percent of motorcycle accident fatalities nationwide and 32 percent statewide in Ohio, according to the NHTSA and the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
  • Impaired driving, including drunk driving, which accounts for 27 percent of motorcycle accident deaths nationwide and in Ohio, according to NHTSA.
  • Texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving.
  • Drivers who change lanes or turn at an intersection without looking, especially in cases involving left-turn accidents, in which drivers turn left at an intersection into an oncoming motorcyclist.

What can drivers do to keep bikers safe?

Ensuring the safety of motorcyclists on the road is a responsibility that requires drivers to be vigilant, considerate, and proactive. Here are some key actions drivers can take to share the road with motorcycle riders:

  • Stay Alert and Aware: Always be on the lookout for motorcycles, especially in heavy traffic and at intersections where they might be harder to see. Constantly scanning your surroundings helps you spot motorcycles early and avoid sudden maneuvers that could cause accidents.
  • Check Blind Spots Regularly: Motorcycles can easily be hidden in blind spots due to their smaller size. Always check your blind spots thoroughly before changing lanes or merging onto highways. Use your mirrors and physically turn your head to ensure no motorcycles are in your path.
  • Use Turn Signals Consistently: Signal your intentions well in advance when making turns or changing lanes. This gives motorcyclists ample time to anticipate your actions and adjust their driving accordingly, reducing the risk of sudden collisions.
  • Maintain a Safe Following Distance: Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the motorcycle ahead. A minimum of a four-second gap is recommended to give you enough time to react to the motorcyclist’s movements, especially if they need to stop suddenly.
  • Exercise Extra Caution at Intersections: Intersections are high-risk areas for motorcycle accidents. Be extra cautious and look out for motorcyclists approaching or waiting to turn. Always yield the right of way when required and ensure you have a clear view of the intersection before proceeding.
  • Avoid Distracted Driving: Distractions such as using your phone, eating, or adjusting the radio can significantly impair your ability to notice and react to motorcycles. Stay focused on the road to ensure the safety of all road users, including motorcyclists.
  • Respect Lane Usage: Motorcyclists are entitled to their own lane space. Do not attempt to share a lane with a motorcycle, and always give them the full lane width. This helps in maintaining a safe distance and avoiding side-swipe accidents.

Why should I hire a Cleveland motorcycle accident lawyer?

Claims involving motorcycle accidents can be difficult to navigate because they involve complex factors such as determining fault and dealing with insurance companies that are often biased against injured bikers.

Additionally, the injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are typically severe, meaning the stakes can be high for everyone involved. As such, it’s crucial to have experienced legal representation to protect your rights and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

Our Cleveland motorcycle accident lawyers at Merriman Legal, LLC know exactly what to do in such situations. Attorney Tom Merriman and his talented legal team have years of experience dealing with complex legal cases and getting meaningful results for clients.

Make our legal team your team. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation so we can listen to what happened, understand what injuries you’re dealing with, and explain how an experienced Cleveland motorcycle accident attorney can help. We’re conveniently located on West 9th Street in Cleveland and handle injury claims throughout Northeast Ohio.

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