What Ohio Motorists Can Do To Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
This fall, an Ohio motorcyclist was driving through an intersection when he struck the front of a Chevy Impala. According to Cleveland.com, the Impala had been waiting to make a left turn in the middle of the intersection. As a result of the incident, the motorcyclist was thrown from his bike and hit a street sign. The biker was taken to a local hospital, where he died.
Unfortunately, motorcycle crashes in intersections happen all too often, many times because people in cars are unaware of the bike's presence. There are a number of ways motorists can help reduce the number of fatal motorcycle accidents on Ohio roads.
By The Numbers
The Ohio Department of Public Safety reports that in 2014, 3,753 motorcycles were involved in accidents. The numbers state that 143 crashes were fatal, and another 2,789 led to injuries. Further, the data shows that in 35.4 percent of incidents, non-motorcycle drivers were responsible for the fatality or injury.
What Motorists Can Do
Many motorcycle drivers already take the steps necessary to protect themselves: They take extra training to ensure they know how to safely operate a vehicle; they wear helmets and protective padding; and they understand that the bike will handle differently in inclement weather. There are also state laws in place to offer increased protection. As the Governors Highway Safety Association notes, Ohio requires all motorcyclists younger than 18, those who have a novice license and passengers to wear a helmet.
Unfortunately, many motorists are unaware of how to share the road safely with a motorcycle. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that motorcycles are far less visible than other motor vehicles, which means motorists need to ensure they are focused on the road and their surroundings.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers the following tips for people in cars:
- A motorcycle's brake lights may not turn on because many riders downshift instead of braking; therefore, leave extra space between a car and a bike.
- When in an intersection or changing lanes, be sure to take a moment to check for motorcycles.
- Keep in mind that a motorcycle in a mirror may appear farther away than it actually is.
Motorists may also want to keep in mind that the turn signals on many motorcycles will not automatically turn off after making the turn. Drivers who are near a signaling motorcycle should act with patience instead of reacting with rage and causing a fatal accident.
In Ohio, someone who is injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else's negligence has the right to pursue a claim against the responsible party. Anyone with questions regarding the matter should consult with an attorney.