Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima
Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima


The professional team at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima
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Motorcycle Accident Statistics


Studies Show That Ohio Is One Of The Most Dangerous States For Motorcyclists

Ohio’s highways and streets can and should be safer for motorcycles. Every day, motorcycle riders are forced to contend with unsafe drivers in cars, trucks and commercial vehicles. Preventable motorcycle crashes happen frequently. For years, many people suspected that Ohio roads are less safe than other areas of the country, and now we have solid statistics showing that Ohio has more motorcycle accidents than most other states of a similar size. We hope these statistics help bring more awareness to motorcycle safety and make Ohio drivers more aware of two-wheeled vehicles.

Motorcycle Fatalities And Accidents Are Unfortunately Common

According to the latest Ohio State Highway Patrol Statistics, Ohio had 996 motor vehicle crashes that resulted in a fatality in 2018. Of those crashes, 144 people riding on motorcycles were killed. Forty-seven of those motorcyclists who lost their lives were wearing a helmet and taking other precautions to protect their safety. While we do not have more recent fatality numbers, many expect the trend to continue. Greater motorcycle safety awareness will hopefully reduce the number of preventable crashes and fatalities.


Since 2014, more than 800 Ohio motorcyclists have been killed in motor vehicle accidents.

Ohio Motorcycle Fatalities 2014-2018


While motorcycle deaths peaked in Ohio in 2016, the 2018 number of fatalities is still higher than the 2014 low. A nationwide study that covered motorcycle accidents from 2008 through 2017 also shows slight growth in the number of motorcyclist fatalities and accidents compared to previous lows across the country. While 2020 statistics are not available, we expect the number of deaths to remain the same or grow steadily.

While the latest data shows that the national motorcycle accident rates have slightly fallen, the number of injuries (89,000) and fatalities (5,172) are significantly higher than their 2011 lows.

Motorcyclist Injuries Nationwide 2008-2017


Motorcyclist Fatalities Nationwide 2008-2017


Ohio stands out as a state with higher than expected yearly motorcycle fatalities (199) for our total population.

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A 2016 nationwide study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ranked Ohio as the state with the fourth-highest motorcycle fatality rate. This statistic is especially concerning because the states in the top three positions had significantly higher populations and longer warm weather months, making riding more frequent. When the statistics from the last few years become available, we expect the number of Ohio motorcyclist deaths will remain high.

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total population

Helmets Are A Critical Tool For Protecting Motorcyclists

We know there continues to be a debate among motorcyclists regarding whether helmets should be worn. In Ohio, the law does not force riders to wear helmets. While helmets remain a controversial topic for some motorcyclists, the statistics show that they are an essential part of motorcycle safety. A 2017 study by the NHTSA showed that the helmet use rate in Ohio fatal crashes was only 29.2%. If the motorcyclists had been wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, an estimated 42 additional lives could have been saved. Ohio’s helmet use rate pales in comparison to a few states that had a 100% use rate, such as Nebraska, Vermont and Washington.

Additional Lives Savable at 100% Helmet Use graph-2


Navigating Uninsured And Underinsured Motorist Claims

Beyond the higher rate of accidents, Ohio motorcyclists also must deal with uninsured and underinsured motorist claims. According to a 2015 study, Ohio is in the top 25 states where drivers operate their vehicles without insurance. Although more recent statistics about uninsured drivers have yet to be released, little has changed to cause the number of uninsured and underinsured to differ significantly.

If you were injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver while riding your motorcycle, you might be uncertain if you have any legal recourse and who will pay for your medical bills. Our attorneys will use their years of experience uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) to help you find the best possible outcome for your motorcycle accident. We also take creative approaches to find additional coverage and third-party policies to help victims of motorcycle crashes.

Ohio has a significantly higher percentage of uninsured drivers (12.4%) compared to states of a similar size, such as Pennsylvania (7.6%) and North Carolina (6.5%).

Percentage Of Uninsured Drivers (2015)graph-3


What Can Motorcyclists Do If They Are In An Accident?

While motorcyclists can take every precaution, the negligence of other people on the road can still lead to an accident. If you or your loved one is hurt in an accident, you need to take immediate action to protect your health, financial future and well-being. First, get medical attention for your injuries, then contact a lawyer with a history of success in motorcycle cases. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will handle everything related to the accident and the insurance claim.

Our firm has offices in Lebanon, Cincinnati and Oxford. You can call us now at 513-496-0134 or send us an email to schedule your free consultation with one of our award-winning attorneys.