Motorcyclists and safety

According to Insurance News Net, motorcycles have continued to grow in popularity throughout the U.S. With riding season in full swing, it's important that riders know the best ways to enjoy time on the road. Unfortunately, as more motorcyclists get out for a ride, more accidents, injuries and deaths are also occurring as a result. To add salt in the wound, motorcycle insurance rates are higher for those who have been in accident.

It makes sense that more riders would increase the risks on the street, but in some cases injuries are the fault of the riders, rather than other motorists. Furthermore, not all motorcyclists ride with proper protection such as a helmet or proper clothing, which can also increase the risk of serious injury.

Where injuries and fatalities are falling
The Insurance Journal recently reported that motorcycle fatalities in Ohio have dropped 21 percent since 2010. State statistics show that there were 133 motorcycle fatalities in the state in 2013, compared to 163 in 2012. In 2011, there were 166 deaths, following 168 in 2010. So far in 2014, there have been 28 accidents, an overall decline of 16 percent from the same time period a year ago.

Of the riders who died in a crash in Ohio last year, 43 percent were not wearing a helmet. In most cases however, motorcyclists were found to be at fault, between 59 percent and 74 percent of the time from 2010 to 2013. This is a good sign for the Midwest state, but more improvements need to made across the country, such as enforcing helmet requirements and creating stricter laws. Currently, Ohio laws only mandate that riders under the age of 18 and those with novice licenses wear a helmet.

Quick safety tips for riders
There are a few things drivers can do to reduce their risk of getting into an accident and the chances of ending up with a serious injury. Here are a few quick tips for motorcycle safety:

  • Always wear a helmet: Seriously, even if you think it will mess up your hair, wear a helmet every time you ride.
  • Never get behind the handlebars after drinking: Drinking alcohol can greatly impair motor skills, making it extremely dangerous to be driving or riding after knocking a few back. Similarly, if you see a friend about to get on their motorcycle after drinking, help them find an alternate way to get home and take away their keys if necessary.
  • Practice defensive driving: As a motorcyclist, you need to be aware that not all drivers will see you and so you should be extra cautious. Don't tailgate or engage in dangerous driving behavior. Don't speed and obey all traffic laws.

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