Ohio Highway Patrol marks motorcycle safety month

The Ohio Highway Patrol is asking everyone on Ohio roads to think about motorcycle safety.
According to OHP statistics, there were 4235 motorcycle related crashes in Ohio in 2016.  Nine of those were in Brown County. The number of crashes in the state was up 60 percent from 2014.
Fatal crashes involving motorcycles are also on the rise.  In 2016, there were 194 fatal motorcycle crashes in Ohio, with 203 people killed.  That number is up 45 percent from 2014.
“Given the warmer temperatures and summer approaching, we know that more Ohioans will be turning to motorcycles for their transportation,” said Ohio Highway Patrol Sergeant Anthony Pearcy.
“Whether a driver is operating a motorcycle or a car, they can make the road safer by being aware of their surroundings while driving.”
Other OHP statistics about motorcycles include that fact that 79 percent of crashes involving them result in injury or death.
“We do promote the use of helmets, just due to the safety aspect.  If a motorcycle rider is involved in a crash, a helmet can protect their head,” said Pearcy.
“The likelihood of sustaining trauma in a crash without a helmet is much higher, even at lower impact speeds.”
Ohio law only requires a helmet for motorcycle drivers if they are under 18 or have less than one year of motorcycle experience.  Passengers must wear helmets if the driver is required to.  75 percent of motorcyclists who died in crashes in 2016 were not wearing helmets.
Pearcy said that motorcycle safety for everyone begins with paying attention on the road.
“Motorcycles are less visible than cars.  Motorists tend to be looking for cars and sometimes they don’t see motorcycles if they aren’t really paying attention to their surroundings,” Pearcy said.
“Look for motorcycles in intersections and especially when you are changing lanes by making sure to check your blind spot in your vehicle.  They aren’t as easy to see because of their smaller size.”
In 2016, 416,478 motorcycles were registered in Ohio.