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An overview of motorcycle crashes

Illinois motorcyclists are part of a growing trend as interest in this form of transportation becomes more popular across the country. More than 8 million motorcycles were in active use in the nation during 2012. However, safety is an important concern connected with motorcycle use. A motorcyclist is much more vulnerable in an accident than an occupant of a closed automobile. Visibility is one of many major concerns related to the safety of motorcyclists.

Statistics indicate that fatal accidents involving motorcycles decreased by more than 6 percent from 2012 to 2013. However, fatal accidents in the over-50 age range increased by nearly 8 percent during that same period. Those contributing most to the increasing numbers of motorcycles on the road are often affluent and older individuals. Some of the behaviors at play in these accidents include impairment, lack of a license and speeding. Insurance losses averaged nearly $570 per insured motorcycle in 2009.

Although many incidents are attributed to safety issues, the types of motorcycles driven, and the age of the drivers, visibility continues to be one of the greatest vulnerabilities. Safety instruction may provide strategies that a motorcyclist can use to improve their visibility to other motorists. However, a serious accident based on a motorist failing to observe a motorcycle can contribute to severe or even fatal injuries.

When a motorcyclist is injured or killed in an accident, the results of an accident investigation may provide direction for insurance claims as well as potential personal injury or wrongful death litigation. The negligence of another driver that contributed to the accident may be addressed through legal action as warranted. Issues such as road condition or inadequate road signs and markings could also play a role in such legal action if it is determined that these could have prevented a motorcycle crash.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, "Motorcycle Crashes", accessed on Feb. 4, 2015

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