Illinois summers offer wonderful opportunities for motorcyclists to get out and enjoy the roads. Unfortunately, the number of fatal motorcycle accidents has been increasing in recent years throughout the State. Fatal accidents have risen even as the overall number of accidents has decreased. There are several possible explanations for why this has occurred, but what is most important is finding ways to ensure that motorcyclists are given the protection they need on Illinois roads.
From 2010 to 2012, motorcycle fatalities increased by 13 percent. In 2011, there were 145 fatalities in motorcycle accidents. While every accident is unique, there are common factors that tie many motorcycle accidents together. Many motorcycle crashes involve interactions with other vehicles. Of the 145 fatal accident victims in 2011, 110 involved riders who were not wearing helmets. Finally, inexperienced drivers are more likely to suffer a fatal accident than their counterparts.
The "Start Seeing Motorcycles" campaign has been underway for many years. In addition, Illinois has the "Look Twice, Save a Life" campaign and the "Ride Smart" campaign geared toward making motorists and motorcyclists aware of what needs to be done to make Illinois roads safe. The State has taken steps to address one of the most serious dangers for motorcyclists: distracted car drivers. Drivers who are paying more attention to cell phones than their driving often fail to spare even one glance, no less two, in looking out for others on the roads.
Motorcyclists should take proper safety courses before getting onto Illinois roads. Experienced and inexperienced riders alike need to be equipped with proper safety gear and need to take the time to ensure their bikes are in proper working order. Finally, if the goal is to avoid a fatal motorcycle accident, it is a good idea to wear a helmet. Even the most talented riders cannot account for the poor decisions of the drivers around them.
Source: The State Journal-Register, "Our Opinion: Motorcycle deaths deserve more attention," 18 June 2013