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Statistics highlight Ohio motorcycle safety, crash data

Motorcycle accident statistics in Ohio are kind of a mixed bag, with a combination of both good and bad news to report.

As for the good: Notwithstanding a national trend indicating that motorcycle crash fatalities are rising, fatalities have actually decreased in Ohio over the past several years. Nationally, 4,469 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2009, with that number increasing to 4,502 in 2010. In Ohio, conversely, 215 riders died in 2008, with that number decreasing to 167 last year.

And now for the not-so-good: Reported motorcycle crashes in the state rose from 4,401 in 2009 to 4,559 in 2010, and about half of all fatal bike accidents continue to see alcohol as a contributing factor year after year.

A new report authored by the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) cites a state-funded program that was launched in 2009 as a catalyst for generally improving motorcycle safety on state roads and highways.

The program is called Motorcycle Ohio. The initiative has a stated goal of training and educating motorcyclists, and its class and road training segments are widely popular among both novice and more experienced riders. Approximately 14,500 riders are expected to participate in classes this summer.

"It's a huge part of what we do, and a huge part of lowering fatalities as well," says a public information officer with the state's Department of Public Safety.

Despite the uptick in training and constant safety focus, the OSHP anticipates that motorcycle accidents will increase during the summer, with warmer weather coming and many more riders on the road.

Source: Springfield News Sun, "Fewer motorcyclists dying on Ohio roads," Michael Cooper, May 19, 2012

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