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Motorcycle awareness and safety in strong focus in Ohio

The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) and other traffic-safety agencies and advocates always maintain a consistent and sober message regarding motorcycle safety on state roadways, but the plea is even a bit more urgent this month, with May being National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

There is simply no way to sugar coat the message or the underling statistics concerning motorcycle accident injuries and deaths in Ohio and nationally. Following are a few of the crash-related numbers that instill an immediate appreciation of both the number of riders and the magnitude of the safety challenge facing motorcyclists.

  • Approximately eight million riders nationally in 2009, according to the Federal Highway Administration
  • An estimated 82,000 motorcycle crash injuries and 4,500 deaths in 2010, according to the NHTSA
  • NHTSA: Per mile driven, motorcyclists 25 times more likely to die in an accident than a driver of a passenger vehicle
  • OSHP: From 2009-2011, 11,400 bike-related injuries and 503 deaths in Ohio

Crash-related concerns -- always acute among law enforcement agencies and emergency responders -- are especially heightened this year, for a number of reasons. For starters, the early spring in Ohio and throughout much of the rest of the country has brought riders out much earlier and in force in 2012. Additionally, the price of gas and the economic landscape in general have made a motorcycle purchase an especially attractive option for many frugal consumers.

The result in Ohio and nationally: There are many more riders out on the roads, and many of them are not particularly experienced.

Spokespersons from the OSHP remind motorists that it is a two-way street concerning motorcyclists. Non-motorcyclists need to always be aware that motorcycle riders and bikes have the same privileges as all other motorists and vehicles on roadways, and motorcyclists should be fully trained and licensed, properly outfitted and riding bikes that are mechanically sound and in good condition.

Source: WTRF, "Ohio State Highway Patrol focuses on motorcycle accidents," May 5, 2012

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