Motorcyclists who are 18 years of age or older are not required to wear a safety helmet in Ohio, but they may be wise to do so considering the sobering fatality statistics among riders. While the number of motorcycle riders who died on the roads fell from 4,986 in 2012 to 4,668 in 2013, riders are still 26 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in an accident per vehicle mile driven, according to NHTSA.
One reason for this is that motorcycles are more dangerous to begin with. Riders are not protected by airbags and safety cages, and they are often difficult for other road users to see. However, many motorcycle and car accidents could be avoided if drivers were more vigilant. Motorcycles made up only 1.1 percent of road traffic in 2012, but riders accounted for over 11 percent of traffic fatalities.
Many people believe that the majority of motorcycle accidents involve younger riders who both lack experience and may be prone to reckless behavior, but this is not borne out by the statistics. According to NHTSA, more than half of the riders killed in 2012 were 40 years of age or older. Another common myth is that excessive speed causes most motorcycle accidents. NHTSA figures show, however, that only about a third of the motorcyclists involved in a fatal accident in 2012 were speeding.
Motorcycle accidents often cause catastrophic injuries, and injured riders must often undergo costly medical treatment and prolonged physical rehabilitation before they are able to return to work. A personal injury attorney could pursue civil remedies on behalf of an injured rider if the accident concerned was caused by a distracted, reckless or impaired driver. This litigation may seek compensation for the motorcyclist's property damage, lost income and medical expenses.