COLUMBUS — Motorcycle fatalities in Ohio have dropped by 21 percent since 2010, according to state statistics.
Statistics show 133 motorcycle fatalities last year; 163 in 2012; 166 in 2011; and 168 in 2010. So far this year there have been 28.
The total number of motorcycle crashes in the state declined by 16 percent during that time.
Numbers analyzed by The Columbus Dispatch show that motorcyclists were at fault in fatal crashes from 59 percent to 74 percent of the time from 2010 to 2013. During the same period, bikers were at fault in 57 to 58 percent of crashes resulting in injuries.
Last year, 43 of the 133 motorcyclists who died in crashes in Ohio were not wearing helmets. In 2012, it was 41 of 163 fatalities.
Motorcycle advocates say responsible riding plays as big a role in safety as helmets and speed do. Operating a motorcycle requires a heightened sense of awareness, and riders should assume they could be in a nearby vehicle’s blind spot at any time.
“We’re a little more difficult to see, and we don’t have all that protection (of a car) around us,” said Chuck Stiteler, coordinator of Motorcycle Ohio, the largest statewide training program for bikers. “We have to really be on our toes.”