May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The Ohio State Highway Patrol would like to remind motorcyclists to ride trained and sober. Also, motorists should be aware there will be an increase in motorcycles on the roadways with the warmer weather.
In 2016, motorcycle-involved crashes resulted in 194 fatal crashes, which is an increase of 45 percent since 2014. Another 3,768 crashes resulted in injuries. Only 25 percent of the motorcyclists killed in crashes were wearing helmets. Ohio requires helmets for riders under 18 and drivers with less than one year of motorcycle experience.
Passengers on motorcycles must wear helmets when the driver is required to do so. Motorcyclists can help protect themselves and others from injury or death by taking a training class and wearing safety equipment.
Of the 1,829 citations the Patrol handed out to motorcyclists in 2016, 23 percent were for operating a motorcycle without a proper license. Riding sober is also very important. Last year, 38 percent of the fatal crashes involving motorcycles were alcohol and/or drug related. Of course, motorcycle safety is not solely the responsibility of motorcyclists. Everyone needs to be aware of their surroundings and other vehicles sharing the roadway.
Motorists should keep in mind: A motorcycle is a motor vehicle with all of the privileges of any vehicle on the roadway. Give motorcyclists a full lane of travel. Look for motorcyclists on the highway, at intersections and any time you are changing lanes.
Allow plenty of space in front of the vehicle you are driving and do not follow a motorcycle too closely. For more information visit www.motorcycle.ohio.gov. A statistical map detailing citations and other motorcycle related information can be found at http://statepatrol.ohio.gov/doc/Motorcycle_Bulletin_2017.pdf