Motorcycle deaths down slightly across Ohio

Tom Jackson
Mar 23, 2010


It's a funny thing about opinions: Sometimes they are wrong.

Because we've had a raft of tragic motorcycle deaths this year in Erie County, I assumed that it's likely they've been going up statewide. I figured that perhaps because of the hike in gas prices, more people have been using hogs to get around, thus causing more accidents. I phoned the highway patrol, figuring the numbers would get me on Page One.

Well, I checked, and I was wrong. Motorcycle deaths actually are down statewide.

From January to July 2007, Ohio had 117 fatal crashes and 122 fatalities. From January to July of this year, there were 114 fatal crashes, with 117 fatalities, said Lt. Tony Bradshaw, an Ohio Highway Patrol spokesman who tracked down the numbers for me.

"Statewide, what we're seeing right now is a reduction," he said. "Certain areas of the state may be up a little bit."

I'll try to remember to check again at the end of the year.

Nationally, though, the safety trend for motorcycles is not good. The New York Times reported on August 14 that the number of motorcycle deaths rose during 2007.

"Deaths of people in cars and trucks, on bicycles or on foot dropped by nearly 2,000 last year, pushing the overall death rate to a historic low. But deaths of motorcyclists surged 6.6 percent, to 5,154; 2007 was the 10th straight year of increase," Times reporter Matthew L. Wald wrote.Mo



According to a Morning Journal article this past weekend, Erie County is in the top 3 of the list of all Ohio counties for the number of motorcycle fatalities this year.


The credibility of the writer is called into question when Erie Co has seen a spike in motorcycle fatalities this year compared to the last 3 years....and then there are motorcycle death statistics over the last 3 years for the Huron, Lorain and Ottawa Co. that were conveniently overlooked or perhaps the writer is just is not up to speed on how to conduct an interview with the OHP!


When are the Ohio politicos gonna have the guts to pass a mandatory helmet law?

Motorists have far more protection in a car and yet are required to wear a seat belt. Makes no sense.


Helmets are only the answer below 20MPH and then only for head trauma. It is unlikely that a helmet law would be making any difference.

1. Autos cause most motorcycle-auto involved incidences.
2. The Left turning car who doesn't see the bike is the real killer and in most cases that accident causes death by massive internal injuries that a helmet won't prevent.
3. A Helmet keeps you alive long enough to be a wheel-chair bound survivor. Not everyone is driven by the desire to live at all costs

Seat belts keep car drivers behind the wheel and possibly in control of the auto, therefore it is in my interest to keep you in control of your car and out of my lane. A helmet does nothing to protect me from your actions and thus is a pointless intrusion on the helmet-less rider's rights.

FYI, I have ridden motorcycles for 42 years this summer and have had a license for 40 continuous years as of August 29th [issued 08/29/68]. There has not been a period of more than 2 years that i didn't own a street bike and when I didn't ride street I was dirt riding or racing.
I wear a helmet every time I ride anywhere. I have been on the street once in the last decade without a helmet on, at a rally, on a big cruiser, with a bikini clad GF on the back at speed under 30mph. I still felt uncomfortable. But I have NO RIGHT to tell everyone to be me, do I?

What you do have a right to do is make training a requirement. Skills are what keep you alive. Accident avoidance is better than trying to gear-up for impact survival. Make graduated license a requirement. For the first year no one needs more than 1000 cc or 85RWHP for over 21. Under 21 600cc or 70 RWHP. Yes I know the are 1000cc 160HP bikes and 130HP 600s - my limit scheme is an either or system but the HP limit trumps displacement


This needs to be a law again. If us drivers must wear belts then bikers need to wear helmets.