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Motorcycle accidents can be deadly for Ohio residents

An autumn motorcycle ride in Cincinnati can be a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the fall color. However, it is important for motorists to respect the right of motorcyclists to share the road. Motorcycle safety is a serious issue.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation (NHTSA), in 2012, 15 percent of all traffic fatalities involved motorcycles. There were over 2,300 deadly accidents involving a motorcycle and a second vehicle. In 2012, there were nearly 5,000 motorcycle fatalities. This is a 7 percent uptick from the number of motorcycle fatalities in 2011. In addition, 93,000 people suffered injuries in motorcycle accidents, up 15 percent since 2011. For NHTSA purposes, motorcycles include not only two and three wheeled bikes, but also mopeds, scooters, off-road motorcycles, pocket bikes and mini bikes. However, 93 percent of deadly motorcycle accidents in 2012 involved traditional motorcycles.

These statistics are a sobering reminder of how motorists must keep an eye out for motorcyclists. Motorcyclists can be more difficult to see, especially at night or in poor weather. Nonetheless, it is the duty of all motorists to drive reasonably under the circumstances. Motorists should make a point to check their blind spots for motorcyclists, and to yield to a motorcyclist's right of way at intersections.

Motorcycle collisions can be especially deadly due to the structure of the bike itself. Unlike cars, motorcycles do not provide riders with much structural protection, exposing riders to the elements and making accidents more deadly. When a motorcyclist is killed due to the negligence of another motorist, the victim's loved ones may want to look into pursuing legal action.

Source: NHTSA.DOT.gov, "Traffic Safety Facts 2012 Data: Motorcycles," accessed on Oct. 28, 2014

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