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Ohioans Urged to Stay Alert for Motorcycles as Riding Season Begins

A head-on collision between a car and a motorcycle on a road. POV is from the motorcycle rider with the car coming toward him.

A motorcycle accident can have severe and sometimes fatal consequences.

As the weather warms and the flowers blossom, motorcycle enthusiasts in Central Ohio prepare for peak riding season. May marks National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which is observed annually to raise awareness about the importance of sharing the road with bikers. With more than 400,000 registered motorcycles on Ohio's roadways, Motorcycle Ohio, a division of the Ohio Traffic Safety Office, urges all drivers to be mindful of the increased presence of motorcyclists on our roads.

The latest statistics from the Ohio Department of Public Safety reveal that in 2022, motorcycle-related crashes in Ohio claimed the lives of 209 individuals, accounting for nearly 18% of all fatal crashes in the state. Most of these accidents occurred between May and October, with 81% happening during this period. The highest number of motorcycle accidents occurred in Cuyahoga County, with 345 crashes in 2022 alone. These alarming statistics highlight the need for heightened awareness and responsible driving practices.

Ohio's new distracted driving law, which recently came into effect, requires all drivers to put their phones down while behind the wheel and remain alert and attentive to avoid causing crashes with other drivers and vulnerable road users like motorcyclists.

"Motorcycle crashes are 100% preventable," Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Andy Wilson said, according to a report by Union County Daily Digital. "With more motorcycles on the road this time of year, drivers must look for riders who may be in their blind spots and always share the road with riders, but never share the lane."

What is the best way for drivers to protect motorcyclists?

First and foremost, it's crucial to be aware of motorcyclists on the road. Motorcycles are smaller and more agile than cars, which means they can be easily missed if drivers are not paying attention or driving recklessly. So, it's essential to always be on the lookout for bikers, especially when making turns or changing lanes.

Here are some other essential motorcycle safety tips for drivers:

  • Remember that motorcycles have the same rights and privileges as any other vehicle on the road.
  • Check blind spots and use mirrors effectively.
  • Give motorcyclists adequate space and be mindful of their speed and movements.
  • Avoid tailgating or following too closely, and maintain a safe following distance.
  • Do not share a lane with a motorcyclist.
  • Treat motorcyclists with respect and avoid cutting them off or driving aggressively around them.
  • Obey Ohio's laws regarding motorcycle safety and sharing the road, including giving motorcyclists a full lane width.

Again, motorcycle accidents are often caused by other drivers who fail to see or misjudge the presence of a motorcyclist on the road. Common scenarios include other drivers making a turn without seeing the motorcyclist, misjudging the speed of the motorcycle at intersections, or failing to notice the bike when making a lane change.

Keep in mind that you don't necessarily have to crash into a biker to cause an accident. A "no-contact" motorcycle crash is an accident in which a biker crashes or loses control without any physical contact with another vehicle. These types of accidents often occur when another driver causes a motorcyclist to swerve or lose control to avoid a collision or when a driver's actions cause a motorcyclist to crash into something else.

For example, a motorcyclist may need to swerve or brake suddenly to avoid a driver who has abruptly changed lanes or cut them off. In some cases, drivers may not even be aware that their actions caused a motorcycle accident, as they did not make physical contact with the motorcycle.

Contact a Columbus, OH motorcycle accident lawyer

Motorcycle accidents can be devastating, and if you or a loved one was injured in a crash, it's important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to review your potential legal options. Remember, an insurance company is more concerned with protecting its bottom line than ensuring you receive the full compensation you are entitled to.

Moreover, insurance companies often have a bias against motorcyclists and view them as reckless thrill-seekers who take unnecessary risks on the road. This bias can lead insurance adjusters to offer lower settlements or deny claims altogether, leaving you without the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.

That's why it's crucial to have an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer on your side who can help you navigate the complex legal system and advocate for your best interests. An attorney can help you negotiate with insurance companies and build a strong case to prove liability and secure the compensation you deserve.

At Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, our team of Columbus, OH motorcycle accident lawyers understands the challenges faced by injured motorcyclists and is committed to fighting for your rights and securing the best possible outcome for your case. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today for a free consultation.

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Charleston, WV

Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC
10 Hale St Suite 501
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: (304) 720-1000

Columbus, OH

Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC
20 E Broad St Suite 1000
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 587-8423