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Michael J. Duber and Brandon T. Duber

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month: Steer clear of danger

May 21, 2024 |

As you rev up your engines and enjoy the freedom of the open road across Ohio this May and beyond, it’s crucial to remember that Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is not just a campaign. It’s a lifeline. In 2022, crashes claimed the lives of 6,218 motorcyclists, accounting for 15% of all traffic fatalities.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are clear – speed and alcohol kill. Over a third of all riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding, with those aged 21 to 24 facing the highest risk. Moreover, 42% of riders in single-vehicle fatal crashes were alcohol-impaired.

Ride smart, ride safe: A motorcyclist’s safety checklist

By riding responsibly, you can significantly reduce your risk of a crash. Here are a few basic safety measures that should be routine:

  • Wear your helmet and protective gear every time you ride.
  • Ensure your motorcycle is in top condition with regular maintenance checks—brakes, tires and lights should all be in working order.
  • Be visible at all times with reflective gear and by using your headlight, even during the day.
  • Obey speed limits and traffic laws. Remember, the faster you go, the less time you have to react.
  • Ride within your skill limits and consider taking a motorcycle safety course to sharpen your riding skills.
  • Avoid riding in inclement weather, but if you must, do so with extra caution.

Finally, staying sober is crucial to staying alive. Alcohol and riding never mix. If you plan to drink, plan not to ride. It’s that simple.

Sharing the road: Motorists’ responsibility

Motorists play a critical role in keeping themselves and riders safe. Drivers can significantly reduce the threat of crashes by taking these actions:

  • Check your blind spots before changing lanes or merging, especially in heavy traffic.
  • Exercise patience and give motorcyclists the full lane width – they deserve it just as much as any other vehicle.
  • Be cautious at intersections where a significant number of motorcycle accidents occur.
  • Signal your intentions early and never tailgate a motorcycle.
  • Avoid distractions while driving.

Giving your full attention to safe driving habits when sharing the road with motorcyclists could save a life. Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is an annual reminder that safety is a mutual responsibility.

Steps to take when an accident occurs

Despite all precautions, accidents can still happen, often with devastating consequences. If you or a loved one is involved in a motorcycle crash, understanding your rights for compensation is vital. Knowledgeable legal support can be a crucial asset in the aftermath of an accident, especially when negligence is involved.