Ohio State Highway Patrol offers tips for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness, and warmer weather means more motorcycles on the roads.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 4:29 PM EDT
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SOUTH POINT, Ohio (WSAZ) - May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness, and warmer weather means more motorcycles on the roads.

You see state troopers patrolling on motorcycles during the warmer months.

“For the motorcycle unit, the benefit of the motorcycles is we can get into other places if there are crashes or scenes we need to get there,” said Sgt. Burt Wilson with Ohio State Highway Patrol. He has years of experience on the motorcycle unit. He knows the dangers of riding a motorcycle firsthand.

“You’re looking and you’re checking blind spots, and you’re watching other motorists,” Wilson said. “You’re being almost defensive, making sure they’re stopping, making sure they’re seeing you.”

Sgt. Wilson applies some rules of thumb to keep himself safe every time he gets on his bike.

“I would recommend wearing your protective gear, and maybe reflective gear if you have it,” Wilson said. “Wear your helmet and your gloves and everything to keep you safe.”

For other drivers on the road, it’s important to stay vigilant, too.

“Be aware there’s going to be more motorcycles on the road as the weather gets warm,” Wilson said. “You want to look twice before you change lanes, before you pull out of that intersection because the bikes are much harder to see.”

In terms of statistics, since 2018 there have been more than 19,000 motorcycle crashes statewide, and more than 950 of those have ended in fatalities and 72% of those involved people who were not wearing helmets.

Troopers say many crashes occur among motorcycle drivers who are do not have a motorcycle license.

OSHP offers classes for people who are licensed motorcycles drivers and want extra safety training.