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Learning more about traffic fatalities

Illinois residents may benefit from learning more about motorcycle statistics, as described by the U.S. Department of Transportation. During 2012, there were 141 motorcycle riders killed in Illinois. Approximately 35 percent of the motorcycle riders killed registered a blood alcohol content that exceeded .08 percent while 44 percent exceeded .01 percent. More than 4,600 motorcycle deaths occurred nationwide during 2012, and 29 percent involved a motorcyclist with a blood alcohol content exceeding .08 percent.

Illinois is one of three states that do not have laws requiring motorcycle riders of any age to wear a helmet. There are 28 states that require motorcyclists under 18-years-old to wear helmets, and 19 states require all riders to wear helmets. For the states that lack universal helmet laws, around 62 percent of the motorcycle fatalities involved people without helmets. In states that have universal helmet laws, only 9 percent of the motorcycle deaths involve riders without helmets.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that more than 780 lives could have been saved if every motorcycle rider would have worn a helmet during 2012. Statistics indicate that motorcyclists with prior speeding convictions and license suspensions accounted for the highest proportion of fatal accidents during 2012. The NHTSA found that 24 percent of the motorcyclists involved in a fatal crash did not possess a valid license.

People who suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident due to another person's actions may benefit from consulting legal counsel. Lawyers may be able to examine the police report and witness statements in an effort to determine which parties can be held liable for the resulting damages. Plaintiffs in these types of cases may be entitled to recover restitution that can help account for loss of income, medical costs and other economic hardships caused by the accident.

Source: US Department of Transportation , "Motorcycles", December 03, 2014

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