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The side mirror of the car reflects a motorcyclist who is moving between cars

As the success of Ohio Bike Week is reflected on and the tragedies of the bikers who lost their lives in crashes are mourned, this is a great time to review how Ohio drivers and motorcyclists can use the same roadways safely. When reviewing the statistics regarding motorcycle and vehicle collisions, it’s important to recognize that even one fatal crash is one too many. 

Motorcycles make up 3% of all registered vehicles in the country but account for 14% of all traffic deaths in 2021. Just one year prior, there were 5,579 motorcyclists who did not come home to their loved ones. Between 2019 and 2020, there was a jump in motorcycle fatalities of 11 percent.

More than 80 percent of crashes involving motorcycles result in death or injury to the motorcyclist. Drivers and passengers of cars and trucks are enclosed in their vehicles and protected by safety features such as seat belts and airbags. For those riding a motorcycle, there is very little between the rider and the road surface. Many injuries happen to motorcyclists when they’re ejected off their bikes due to a sudden stop. 

Tips for Avoiding Motorcycle Collisions

For drivers, here are some tips for how to share the road safely.

  1. Pay attention to your surroundings. One of the most important factors when driving any vehicle is to stay alert. You need to be aware of your environment and the other vehicles and pedestrians around you. It’s sometimes hard to see motorcycles due to vehicle blind spots, weather conditions, or heavy traffic. Forty-one percent of all motorcycle crashes are due to drivers failing to see motorcycles. 
  2. Slow down at intersections. Many fatal motorcycle collisions occur during left turns. When a vehicle is making a left turn, a driver may not see an oncoming motorcyclist. If you have an obstructed view of oncoming traffic when turning, be patient and only proceed once you know the road is clear.
  3. Don’t drive distracted. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of traffic crashes, including fatalities. When drivers focus on their mobile devices, their attention shifts from the vehicles around them, putting motorcyclists’ lives at risk.
  4. Leave space for motorcyclists. When on the roadway, leave extra space for motorcyclists. Motorcycles have a shorter braking distance, so leaving adequate space for stopping can help reduce motorcyclists from being rear-ended by other drivers.
  5. Understand blind spots. All vehicles have blind spots, which are areas surrounding the vehicle that a driver can’t see using the rearview or side-view mirrors. Know that a motorcyclist may weave from left to right within a lane in an attempt to avoid blindspots and make themselves more visible to vehicles around them.
  6. Drive sober. When you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, drive sober. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs reduces your control of the vehicle, reduces your concentration, and slows down response time – all of which increase your risk of being in a collision. 

Everyone deserves a fair share of the roadway. If you have questions about an Ohio motorcycle wreck, call us at 419-624-3000  or fill out our online contact form.

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