More Motorcycles Requires more Awareness From All Motorists


The father of an 18-year-old driver who “just got his license” told the Zanesville Times Recorder that his son was “shaken up” after striking a motorcyclist at the foot of the Ohio State Route 719 bridge while attempting to turn left onto the bridge from Ohio State Route 60 on April 14, 2012. “My dad almost died in an accident here,” resident Tom Pierce told the Recorder, saying that there’s been “a few” accidents at the intersection. “It’s just a shame. They need to change the speed limit or do something with the turn signal before more people get hurt.”

On the same day, a 54-year-old Akron woman was killed after being thrown from her motorcycle. That same week, a 74-year-old Union City man was killed when a flatbed trailer hauling a dump truck struck the motorcycle he was riding. Spring has sprung in Ohio, but with the nice weather comes the increased presence of motorcycles, and this spate ofmotorcycle accidents is an excellent time to remind all motorists that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

It is important for all drivers to remember that a motorcycle has all of the same rights and privileges as every other vehicle on roads throughout Ohio. Motorists in passenger vehicles need to be aware of how easily motorcycles can disappear into a driver’s blind spots. Also, because motorcyclists do not always brake when slowing down, drivers should maintain a longer following distance to compensate for the possible lack of brake light warnings.

As the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) points out, motorcycles are the most vulnerable of all motor vehicles on the road. With the weather becoming more suited for motorcyclists, motorists not only need to increase awareness of the likely increased presence of motorcycles, but must also exercise additional caution around these vehicles.

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