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Motorcycle Crashes and Drunk Driving

Posted on in Motorcycle Accidents

IllinoisDrunk or impaired driving is unsafe for everyone involved, and not just the passengers and driver in the car with the impaired driver. Drunk drivers are a danger to everyone on the road, and even more-so if that driver is on a motorcycle. Motorcyclists are among the categories of people most at-risk for drunk driving and drunk driving fatalities. That motorcyclists are very likely to be injured in a drunk driving crash is no surprise — the nature of the motorcycle does not allow the same protections as a motor vehicle or truck. But there are also statistics that point to the fact that motorcyclists are perhaps more likely than other drivers to get behind the wheel drunk.

Among motorcyclists killed in fatal crashes in 2013, a full 27 percent of them had a blood alcohol content (BAC) that was above the legal limit. This percentage increased according to the age of motorcyclist killed: nearly half of all fatally-injured alcohol-impaired motorcyclists were over the age of 40 at the time of the accident, and this group also had the highest percentage of deaths with BACs of more than 0.08 percent.

Alcohol, of course, only compounds the already unsafe nature of motorcycles when compared to motor vehicles. In 2013, motorcyclists were 26 times more likely than people in motor vehicles to die in a crash per vehicle traveled, and five times more likely to be injured. Despite this, the number of motorcycles on the road continues to increase, with an estimated 8.4 motorcyclists nationwide in 2013, and statistics point to the fact that motorcyclists may actually be getting safer. The number of people who died in motorcycle crashes was down 6.4 percent between 2012 and 2013.

There have been several nationwide campaigns launched in recent years aimed at making all drivers on the road more aware of motorcyclists, but also aimed at encouraging motorcyclists to stay off the road after having been drinking. In addition to the motorcycle being less protective of a rider than a motor vehicle, operating a motorcycle also takes skills particularly impacted by alcohol.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle crash, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Do not go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Lake County accident attorney today.

Sources:

http://www.iii.org/issue-update/motorcycle-crashes

http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/CAMPAIGNS/Motorcycle+Safety/Stop+Impaired+Riding

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