According to 13 WREX, Illinois is celebrating its 30th annual Motorcycle Awareness Month. Motorcycle Awareness Month takes place in May and involves a public education campaign, training and education for riders and drivers, and other efforts aimed at reducing the number of fatal motorcycle accidents in the state.
Our Oak Park motorcycle accident lawyers know that almost 150 motorcycle riders died in Illinois last year in accidents. The Governors' Highway Safety Association (GHSA) also indicates that motorcycle fatalities throughout the United States have been steadily increasing -- up in fourteen of the last fifteen years. As more motorcycle riders are involved in fatal accidents each year, the lessons during Motorcycle Awareness Month become more important than ever.
Motorcycle Accidents on the Rise
The Governors' Highway Safety Association recently released a report about motorcycle accident fatalities. The report took a look at the number of motorcycle deaths that occurred throughout 2012. Based on preliminary data, the GHSA found that:
- Around 5,000 motorcycle accident fatalities occurred in 2012.
- The number of motorcycle accident fatalities in 2012 was nine percent higher than the number of fatalities that occurred in 2011.
- Illinois also experienced an increase in motorcycle accident deaths, with 132 drivers dying over nine months in 2012 as compared with 128 fatalities during the same time period in 2011. The four additional deaths were attributed to warm weather in the state that increased motorcycle use in 2012.
- This increase in the number of motorcycle accident fatalities throughout the United States was larger than the increase originally projected by federal authorities.
- Motorcycle accident fatality rates are one of the few kinds of motor vehicle accident fatalities that have shown no decline over the past decade.
This data illustrates the importance of public awareness campaigns such as Motorcycle Awareness Month. Drivers need to learn how to interact safely with riders on the roads, and motorcycle riders need to be sure they are following safety rules and doing everything possible to prevent accidents and injuries or fatalities.
GHSA Tips for Motorcycle Safety
GHSA offered some useful tips along with its report on the bad news about motorcycle accident fatalities. GHSA indicates that states that wish to reduce the number of motorcycle deaths should work toward:
- Increasing the number of riders who wear helmets.
- Reducing the number of motorcycle riders who are intoxicated while driving.
- Reducing the number of motorcycle riders who exceed the speed limit.
- Providing more training to motorcycle riders and making more educational opportunities available for riders on motorcycle safety.
- Providing more education to drivers to ensure they understand how to be safe when sharing the road with motorcycle riders.
- Verifying that all motorcyclists are licensed.
We hope the GHSA tips can help to cut down on the number of fatalities that occur. Illinois is following many of these tips through its efforts during Motorcycle Awareness month, which may lead to fewer deaths this year.
If you were injured in a traffic accident in the Chicago, Illinois area, contact Coplan & Crane at 800-394-6002 or visit our Oak Park office.