Motorcycle accidents increase in Ohio

Motorcycles are a fast and convenient way to enjoy the road or get to a destination, and thousands of Ohioans own a motorcycle as a primary or secondary vehicle. Thanks to increased awareness and technological advances, the chances of a motorcycle crash resulting in injury or death have fallen overall.

The dangers to motorcyclists remain clear in Ohio, where motorcycle-related crashes increased by 16 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. This is while the state's number of licensed motorcycle drivers remained relatively unchanged.

More than half of 2016's fatal accidents involved another motor vehicle. Motorcycle drivers were found to be at fault in slightly more than half of all accidents as well.

"Riding a motorcycle versus a car, there is less margin for error," said a representative of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. "You're on two wheels versus four."

Motorcycle crash and fatality statistics vary widely by county, but "areas with a higher population will see an increase in crashes compared to areas with a lower population," according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The home county of Cleveland, for example, saw 414 motorcycle crashes in 2016. All of the county's neighbors, which are less populated, saw less than 100 crashes each in the same time frame.

"Motorcycle safety is not solely the responsibility of motorcyclists," the Ohio State Highway Patrol representative said. "It is very important for motor vehicle drivers to be aware there will be an increase of motorcyclists on the roadways."

Safety precautions include a second look before left turns or hidden turns, which can be dangerous to surrounding motorcyclists. Lane changes must be signaled and taken patiently, as motorcycles can appear suddenly on the highway.

Source: The News-Herald, "Motorcycle-related crashes increase in Ohio in 2016, data says," Tim Simko, Aug. 20, 2017

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