The Ohio Traffic Safety Bulletin reported more than 3,300 motorcycle accidents in 2018. About 77% of these incidents caused death or serious injury, usually impacting the motorcycle operator.
Those who bike in Ohio should refresh their safety knowledge before taking that first spring ride.
Ohio requires motorcyclists to follow the same laws as other motorists. Two motorcycles may travel next to one another in the same lane. The state does not prohibit lane splitting, a common cause of motorcycle accidents.
Drunk driving laws also apply to motorcycle riders. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles lists operator impairment as a common cause of motorcycle accidents.
Proper helmet use
Riders should wear a helmet with Department of Transportation approval that fits correctly to decrease the risk of traumatic brain injury. Leather pants and jacket, heavy boots, and motorcycle gloves also help protect the body in a crash.
Defensive driving courses can improve safety for new bikers and experienced riders alike. Ohio motorcycles can enroll in this type of course through the state Office of Public Safety, including:
- A 16-hour basic skills course for new riders
- An eight-hour basic skills course for returning riders with at least one year of experience
- A seven-hour follow-up basic rider skills course
OPS also offers skills tests so riders can measure their operating abilities.
Practicing in all types of weather can help novice riders gain important experience. Motorcycle riders should focus on remaining visible to other drivers at all times. They should be especially careful when entering road crossings and intersections, the most common location for bike-car collisions.