As one of many Ohio residents who enjoys exploring the state on a motorcycle, you may understand all too well that some motorists struggle to share the road with bikes and their riders. Some drivers have a harder time seeing motorcyclists because they take up less room, while others simply fail to exercise care when navigating around motorcycles, leading to accidents. If it seems as if motorcycle accidents are especially common across Ohio, however, it is because they are.
According to ConsumerSafety.org, Ohio ranks among the top five states nationally in terms of the number of motorcycle accidents that occur on state roadways. In 2017 alone, for example, 3,826 motorcycle crashes occurred within state borders, resulting in 157 fatalities and 3,162 motorcycle-accident related injuries. So, what factors contribute to Ohio’s high motorcycle crash rate?
Contributing factors to Ohio motorcycle crashes & injuries
It is no secret that consistently wearing protective headgear decreases your risk of a serious injury or fatality following a bike crash, but currently, the state only mandates their use for motorcyclists under 18 years of age. Despite the law, your decision to wear a helmet can cut your chances of dying because of a crash-related head injury by 40 percent, highlighting just how critical it is to wear a helmet every time you ride, regardless of the distance you plan to cover.
While failing to wear a helmet can enhance your risk of suffering a serious head injury after a bike crash, other factors also commonly come into play. Drivers who become negligent and otherwise fail to follow the rules of the road are a big one, as is driver impairment caused by the consumption of drugs or alcohol. A lack of adequate road maintenance can also lead to motorcycle crashes, with potholes, loose pavement and similar factors potentially presenting serious hazards for Ohio’s motorcyclists.
While there is only so much you can do when others drive negligently, always wearing protective gear and avoiding the roads during inclement weather should help mitigate your crash risk to some extent.