Ohio troopers stress safety as motorcycle fatalities climb

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which is a time to remind drivers and motorcyclists to be smart and stay safe on the roads.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety administration, 5,286 motorcyclists were killed in 2016. It was the deadliest year since 2008.

In Ohio alone, there were 155 deadly crashes in 2017.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said 71 percent of riders killed weren't wearing helmets.

Experts said data proves helmets are the best way to prevent motorcycle deaths and injuries, but, under Ohio law, motorcyclists 18 years and older don't have to wear a helmet.

There's also steps drivers can take to keep motorcyclists safe.

According to OSHP, drivers should:

•    Give motorcyclists a full lane of travel
•    Look for motorcyclists on the highway, at intersections and any time you're changing lanes
•    Allow plenty of space and don't follow a motorcycle too close

Nationwide 2017 data isn't in yet, but the OSHP said they believe motorcyclist deaths were down in 2017 compared to 2016.

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