COLUMBUS – May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The Ohio State Highway Patrol would like to remind motorcyclists to ride endorsed, trained and sober. Also, motorists should be aware that there will be an increase in motorcycles on the roadways with the warmer weather.
In 2015, motorcycle-involved crashes resulted in 163 fatalities ( up 16 percent) and another 3,362 injuries in the state of Ohio. Only 35 percent of motorcyclist killed in crashes were wearing helmets. Ohio requires helmets for drivers under 18, drivers with less than one year of motorcycle experience and passengers on motorcycles where the driver is required to wear a helmet.
Motorcycle rides can help protect themselves and others from injury or death by taking a training class and riding with proper endorsements. Of the 2,485 citations the Patrol handed out to motorcyclists in 2015, 20 percent were for operating a motorcycle without a proper license or endorsement. As a rider, simple things like ensuring you have a valid motorcycle endorsement, receiving quality motorcycle training and wearing proper safety equipment can be key elements in staying safe. For more information visit http://www.motorcycle.ohio.gov/.
Riding sober is also very important. Last year, 30 percent of the fatal motorcycle crashes were alcohol and/or drug related.
Of course, motorcycle safety is not solely the responsibility of motorcyclists. Motor vehicle drivers share in this important effort by being aware of motorcyclists. 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.