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Motorcycle Safety on Our Cincinnati Roadways

By Heidi Culbertson

Denver, CO – Motorcyclist injured in Crash on Havana St

June 23, 2020   Ohio Personal Injury

Like pedestrians and bicyclists, motorcycle riders are among the most vulnerable to severe injuries when involved in collisions with automobiles. According to the most recent information available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 5,000 motorcyclists lost their lives in crashes in 2018. Based on these statistics, the NHTSA  encourages motorcycle riders and drivers to navigate roads safely, obey traffic laws, stay within the speed limits, and avoid distractions while driving. Additionally, motorcyclists are encouraged by first responders to wear helmets and protective gear at all times. For everyone to remain safe, motorcyclists and drivers must watch out for each other and be conscious of the potential dangers on our roads and highways.

Choosing the Right Gear Before Hitting the Road

Experienced motorcyclists agree that wearing proper motorcycle safety gear can help protect you from the most severe injuries. The essential pieces of riding gear include the following:

A QUALITY HELMET:

A quality motorcycle helmet is the most essential component of your protective gear. Choose a properly fitting helmet that is durable and protective, and replace your helmet at least every five years.

Ohio Law Regarding Motorcycle Helmets

Under Ohio law, anyone under the age of 18 or who has a license or endorsement with a novice designation is prohibited from riding a motorcycle without wearing a helmet that is approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. These individuals are also prohibited from carrying passengers unless they are wearing a helmet. Even though certain individuals are required by law to wear helmets, they can still file a personal injury claim if they were injured while not wearing protective headgear.

WELL-PADDED GLOVES:

A well-padded pair of gloves will protect your hand’s bones, joints, and ligaments from injury during a fall and help prevent numbness during long rides. Your gloves should be snug, but flexible, and tighten easily at the wrist. Riders should invest in a pair of high-quality leather gloves that ensure adequate ventilation to prevent sweating and allow a safe grip.

LEATHER JACKET:

Experienced motorcyclists agree that all riders should invest in a well-fitting, high quality, and durable motorcycle jacket that can protect your upper body in the event of a crash. Your jacket should have proper ventilation, reflective gear, and adequate padding in high impact areas, such as the shoulders and elbows to protect you in the event of a fall.

PROTECTIVE EYEWEAR: 

Unless you are wearing a full-face helmet, riders should consider wearing foam rimmed goggles to protect your eyes. Riders should have both daytime and nighttime eyewear and make sure that your glasses are fit well within your helmet and provide you with a broad range of peripheral vision.

MOTORCYCLE BOOTS:

A comfortable pair of high-quality leather motorcycle boots offer riders the support and protection they need on the road. Riders should invest in a solid pair of leather boots with a thick tread for traction and sturdy soles that can withstand heat.

The Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes

Excessive Speed

Speeding is one of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes and is a significant factor in collisions that result in severe injuries. Motorists will often fail to see a speeding motorcycle until it is too late to avoid an accident.

Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is another major cause of crashes between vehicles and motorcycles.  According to recent studies by the NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 25% of the motorcycle crash deaths in 2016 occurred due when one of the drivers was impaired due to the use of drugs or alcohol.

Being “doored”

Motorcycle riders in the city deal with the constant threat of “being doored”, or getting injured by a car door opening in their path. When a motorcycle is doored, the rider can be seriously injured if they are launched from their bike onto the road or into traffic.

Turning left

Automobile drivers often miscalculate the distance of an approaching vehicle when turning left. When the oncoming vehicle is a motorcycle, the small size makes it even less visible. These kinds of errors lead to the injury and death of hundreds of motorcycle riders every year.

Stopping abruptly

Following a vehicle too closely is another common cause of accidents for all types of vehicles, including motorcycles. While a rear-end car accident can often cause minor damage to a car, a tailgating accident involving a motorcycle can cause serious injuries if the rider is ejected from the bike. Avoiding excessive speeds and maintaining a safe distance between your bike and the vehicle in front of you is the best way to prevent a crash.

Riding in inclement weather

Riding a motorcycle during inclement weather can limit visibility and subject you to dangerous road conditions. When a motorcyclist is riding during less than ideal weather conditions on roadways with sharp curves, busy intersections, or uneven surfaces, these issues combined with poor visibility can lead to crashes.

Riding on unsafe roadways

Motorcycle riders are more vulnerable to unsafe road conditions than automobile drivers.  Poorly maintained roadways that have an uneven surface, potholes, random objects, or the sudden appearance of wildlife can cause a rider to lose their balance and crash.

Ohio Insurance Requirements:

It is illegal to operate a motorcycle without insurance or proof of financial responsibility. The minimum insurance requirements for motorcycles are the same as they are for other motor vehicles:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death of another individual in an accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more individuals in a single accident
  • $25,000 for property damage suffered by another individual in an accident

If you do not have insurance, you can meet these requirements by establishing proof of financial responsibility. You will need to obtain one of the following:

  • A Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) certificate showing that you have $30,000 in cash or government bonds deposited with the State Treasurer
  • A BMV-issued bond secured by real estate with at least $60,000 in equity
  • Certificate of proof of financial responsibility
  • Surety bond certificate worth $30,000
  • BMV-issued certificate of self-insurance, which is only available to individuals with at least 26 vehicles registered in their name

If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle wreck, you should take immediate steps to protect yourself.

After your collision:

  • Seek immediate medical care—even if you think you are not seriously injured
  • Call the police and report the accident
  • Obtain contact information from the other driver and the witnesses
  • Take photographs of the scene of the incident and your injuries
  • Contact an experienced Cincinnati motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible

The Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Burg Simpson Cincinnati

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Burg Simpson’s personal injury team has been helping clients who were injured in motorcycle crashes for more than 40 years. Contact our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers now at 513-852-5600 or schedule a free consultation to discuss your personal injury matter. We are here to help you now.

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