Ohio Motorcycle Accidents Involving Serious And Fatal Injuries Increased in 2016 OSHP Hopes To Reduce The Number With the Help of Motorcycle Awareness Month
May is National Motorcycle Awareness Month and the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) is hoping to reduce the number of Ohio motorcycle accidents by reminding motorcyclists to ride trained and sober. OSHP officials are also reminding motorists to expect more motorcycles on the road with the warmer weather.
The reminders come at a time when Ohio motorcycle accidents are on the rise. According to OSHP statistics, there were 4,235 motorcycle-related crashes in 2016, a 16 percent increase since 2014. Of the total number of crashes, 194 were fatal and killed 203 people, a 45 percent increase since 2014. Overall, 79 percent of motorcycle-related crashes resulted in an injury or death.
OSHP troopers are closely watching the roads since Ohio motorcycle accidents have already been occurring this year. In March, a New Lebanon man died after his motorcycle went off the road and struck a ditch in Preble County. In April, a motorcycle driven by an Elyria man hit a vehicle that failed to stop at a stop sign in Erie County. The motorcyclist suffered fatal injures after he and his passenger were thrown from the motorcycle.
OSHP says that motorcyclists can help protect themselves and others from injury or death by taking a training class and wearing safety equipment. In 2016, only 25 percent of motorcyclists killed in crashes were wearing helmets, OSHP statistics show. Ohio law only requires helmets for drivers under 18, drivers with less than one year of motorcycle driving experience or passengers on motorcycles where the driver is required to wear a helmet.
Last year, OSHP troopers made 2,989 traffic stops involving motorcycles. Of that number, 1,829 or 61 percent resulted in citations. Motorcyclists were cited for speeding violations in 61 percent of those instances, while 23 percent were cited for driving without a valid driver license or motorcycle endorsement.
When it comes to motorcycle safety, motorists also have a responsibility, the OSHP says. Motorists should keep in mind:
- A motorcycle is a motor vehicle with the same privileges as any vehicle on the roadway.
- Motorcyclists need a full lane of travel.
- Watch for motorcyclists on the highway, at intersections, and when you’re changing lanes.
- Allow plenty of space in front of your vehicle and don’t follow a motorcycle too closely.
With over 480,000 motorcycles registered in Ohio, the state is in the top five of motorcycle ownership, according to Mike Stock, safety and educational director with American Bikers Aimed Toward Education of Ohio. Since the number of motorcycle ownership is expected to increase, Stock told ABC 13 that is very important that everyone pay attention to the road.