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Illinois Motorcycle Fatalities Rising Despite Decrease in Crashes

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois Motorcycle Fatalities Rising Despite Decrease in CrashesThe Illinois Department of Transportation is reporting an unusual trend in regards to motorcycle accidents. The number of crashes involving motorcycles has decreased by nearly 1,000 since 2004, but the number of motorcycle crashes that end in fatalities has slightly increased. IDOT estimates that there were 162 fatalities that resulted from motorcycles crashes in 2017, the highest single-year number on record. The 2017 increase in Illinois goes against an overall decrease across the U.S. A mix of factors may help explain why Illinois has not seen a decline in motorcycle fatalities.

Rider Protection

The decreased number of motorcycle crashes suggests that rider safety in Illinois is improving. This could be attributed to:

  • The availability of safety classes;
  • Public campaigns on motorcycle safety; and
  • Improved defensive riding techniques.

However, Illinois is one of three states that does not require that motorcycle riders wear helmets. There are some riders who prefer the freedom of riding without a helmet, despite the safety risks. Helmets are the best way to prevent head injuries during a crash. Without a helmet, a rider may suffer severe injuries to the head and brain, which can be fatal.

Distracted Driving

Public safety campaigns for motorcycles include educating the drivers of other vehicles to be aware of motorcycles on the road. A majority of motorcycle accidents occur because a driver obstructed a rider’s right-of-way on the road. Drivers can have a difficult time seeing motorcycles because of their size and ability to quickly enter someone’s blind spot. Distracted driving contributes to drivers failing to notice motorcycle riders on the road. Looking briefly at a mobile device or talking to someone on the phone may distract a driver long enough for a motorcycle to enter into the driver’s blind spot. The driver then decides to change lanes without noticing that he or she is cutting off a motorcycle rider.

Weather Effect

Researchers have speculated that major hurricanes in Florida and Texas may have contributed to the national decrease in motorcycle fatalities. Summer is an ideal time for motorcycle riding but not when severe weather is wreaking havoc. Conversely, Illinois had an unseasonably warm winter in 2017, which may have encouraged people to ride their motorcycles more often. Some drivers may not have been expecting to see motorcycles on the road in January and February, and their driving behavior did not adjust.

Motorcycle Injuries

There is an increased risk of severe injury or death if you are involved in a crash while riding a motorcycle. A McHenry County personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you receive injury compensation if another driver was at fault for your crash. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.



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