May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and the Ohio State Highway Patrol would like to remind motorists that there will be an increase in motorcycles on the roadways with the warmer weather and to remind motorcyclists to ride trained and to ride sober.

From 2009 – 2011 motorcycle-involved crashes resulted in a total of 503 fatalities and over 11,400 injuries in the state of Ohio. In 2011 alone there were 167 motorcycle-related fatalities. Of the 167 fatalities, the motorcyclist was at fault 70 percent of the time.

Taking a training class and riding with proper endorsements as a motorcycle rider can help protect yourself and others from injury or even death. Out of the 7,920 citations the Patrol handed out to motorcyclists in 2009 – 2011, 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.

Riding sober is also very important. Last year, 49 percent of the fatal motorcycle crashes involved an impaired motorcyclist, an increase of 10 percent from 2010. Of course, motorcycle safety is not solely the responsibility of motorcyclists. Motor vehicle drivers share in this important effort by being aware of motorcyclists.

There are some important steps to become more aware of motorcyclists:

– 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.

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Posted on May 18, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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