For motorcycle enthusiasts, riding on two wheels is the best way to travel. And with over 400,000 registered motorcycles in Ohio, it seems plenty of Ohioans feel that way.
However, catastrophic motorcycle accidents occur way too often due to motorists failing to notice bikes on the road. Why do these types of accidents occur, and what can motorcyclists do to help ensure they are seen?
Size and visibility
Between 2018 and 2022, approximately 18,980 motorcycle accidents occurred in Ohio, with 953 of them ending in fatalities. One of the factors contributing to these numbers is the failure of vehicle drivers to see motorcycles, as they are smaller than other vehicles on the road. They have a narrower profile and occupy less space in the driver’s field of vision.
In addition, distractions such as texting, talking on the phone or adjusting vehicle settings, divert drivers’ attention away from the road, making it more likely they will overlook motorcycles.
Motorcyclists can take steps to increase their visibility, such as:
- Wearing bright and reflective clothing
- Use reflective tape
- Position themselves in the left portion of their lane
- Use headlights during the day
Furthermore, using the motorcycle’s horn and making eye contact with the driver can increase the likelihood of being seen.
It’s also crucial for drivers and motorcyclists to be aware of a vehicle’s blind spots—the areas around the car where the driver’s view is obstructed. When making turns or changing lanes, drivers may fail to check their blind spots, leading to potential collisions with motorcycles. Knowing this, motorcyclists should take extra precautions when passing a vehicle.
Ohio offers basic rider skills courses, which every motorcyclist should take to help keep them safe while riding. Still, it is up to vehicle drivers to stay vigilant and pay attention to their surroundings on the road. Anyone who has been injured in a motorcycle accident may be able to receive compensation for their injuries, so they will have financial security while they recover.