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Mitigating the Risk of Motorcycle Fatalities in Illinois

Posted on in Motorcycle Accidents

motorcycle fatalitiesThe rate of motorcycle fatalities has climbed in recent years in Illinois, even as the number of accidents involving motorcycles has decreased, according to the Insurance Journal. Illinois State Police told the Journal no one single contributing factor was the culprit, but experts “say the increase in fatalities comes as more people—some of whom may not have had proper training—a riding.” In the past 10 years, the number of registered motorcycles has increased more than 55 percent in the state.

One reason for the consistently high motorcyclist fatality rate in Illinois could have to do with the fact that Illinois is only one of three states that does not have a law that requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet while riding. More than 75 percent of people who died in 2011 were not wearing helmets at the time of crash, according to the Insurance Journal. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the first helmet laws were passed in 1967, when the federal government required states to pass such legislation for highway safety funds. All but three states (Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire) had complied by 1975. One year later, Congress unauthorized the federal government to enforce such laws; following this many “states began to weaken helmet laws to apply only to young or novice riders,” according to the GHSA.

There are many things in addition to wearing a helmet that a rider, especially a novice rider, can do to help reduce the risk of death. The first is to avoid alcohol entirely. The second is to be very aware of the other vehicles on the road. If you are hit by another vehicle, immediately move yourself (if possible) out of traffic to reduce the risk of second injury. According to Consumer Reports, novice riders can take Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) classes across the U.S., which will teach inexperienced riders important safety foundations, such as evasive emergency maneuvers.

If you or someone you know is injured in a motorcycle accident in which you were not at fault, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Contact a Chicago motorcycle accident attorney today.

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