Over the past two years, motorcycle deaths have risen a scary 13% in Illinois, up from 131 in 2010 to 148 in 2012. Yet, there seems to be no single reason for the spike.
More people than ever are riding motorcycles in Illinois, partially due to gas prices, parking, convenience, maintenance, etc., and that certainly must be taken into account. But that doesn’t mean there needs to be more deaths. New riders are inherently less aware of all the conditional factors needed to be taken into account every time they take a seat on their bike, and a more concerted effort must be made to learn and then implement safe riding practices. Whether this comes through riding lessons, online tutorials and research, or upping the number of cautious, beginner level rides before moving on to highways and traffic filled streets, more must be done to educate new riders through information and experience until they become keenly aware of the many dangers while riding. The Motocycle Safety Foundation is a great resource for finding rider classes near you and for up to date safety standards and news. And as always, riding under even the slightest impairment of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous and severely frowned upon. Be informed and know your limits, because you don’t want to end up in an accident. Your Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers at Kass & Moses have had plenty of experience dealing with major accidents, and it’s never pretty.
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But, perhaps most important to the safety of motorcyclists is awareness on the part of other drivers. Too often, drivers are ignorant to the possibility that they may have a motorcyclist riding near them and are not paying the necessary attention to notice them. This is no doubt one of the underlying causes of many of these fatal accidents. The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police have started the “Start Seeing Motorcycles” safety campaign that will hopefully alert more drivers to the presence of motorcyclists. This is certainly a step in the right direction, but given the everyday danger of both driving and riding, more must be done across the board, starting from the moment one gets a license, to ensure that motorists of all kinds do not needlessly lose their lives. This latest increasing death toll begs for a more general awareness for motorcycle safety, especially at a time when there are more ways than ever to be informed. Safety comes first.