Motorcycle crashes on the rise across the state

OHIO — Motorcycle crashes are increasing across the state, and local officials are looking at how riders and drivers can stay safe.

In 2020, Ohio had nearly 4,000 crashes involving motorcycles. There have been 2,000 so far this year, with 600 of them being fatal — a 16 percent increase year over year, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

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In the Miami Valley, there have been 235 motorcycle crashes so far this year. Montgomery County has the highest number of motorcycle crashes at 89. There have been more than 30 motorcycle crashes in Clark and Greene counties, and Mercer County has had the lowest number of motorcycle crashes at four.

“There’s a lot of distracted driving that has caused and continues to cause crashes,” Sugarcreek Twp. Fire Chief Jeff Leaming told News Center 7′s Kayla Courvell.

Leaming said riders need to ride “like a car is going to come out in front of you.”

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“Slow down at intersections, keep your head on a swivel and pay attention to your surroundings,” he said.

Helmets also help to keep riders safe — they reduce the risk of death in crashes by 37 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Leaming said the most important thing riders can do is pay attention.

“Leave your phone in your pocket, in a secure area so you’re not distracted because you never know when you’ll come across someone on a bike or another vehicle,” he said.