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motorcycle fatalitiesThe rate of motorcycle fatalities has climbed in recent years in Illinois, even as the number of accidents involving motorcycles has decreased, according to the Insurance Journal. Illinois State Police told the Journal no one single contributing factor was the culprit, but experts “say the increase in fatalities comes as more people—some of whom may not have had proper training—a riding.” In the past 10 years, the number of registered motorcycles has increased more than 55 percent in the state.

One reason for the consistently high motorcyclist fatality rate in Illinois could have to do with the fact that Illinois is only one of three states that does not have a law that requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet while riding. More than 75 percent of people who died in 2011 were not wearing helmets at the time of crash, according to the Insurance Journal. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the first helmet laws were passed in 1967, when the federal government required states to pass such legislation for highway safety funds. All but three states (Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire) had complied by 1975. One year later, Congress unauthorized the federal government to enforce such laws; following this many “states began to weaken helmet laws to apply only to young or novice riders,” according to the GHSA.

There are many things in addition to wearing a helmet that a rider, especially a novice rider, can do to help reduce the risk of death. The first is to avoid alcohol entirely. The second is to be very aware of the other vehicles on the road. If you are hit by another vehicle, immediately move yourself (if possible) out of traffic to reduce the risk of second injury. According to Consumer Reports, novice riders can take Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) classes across the U.S., which will teach inexperienced riders important safety foundations, such as evasive emergency maneuvers.

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Driving is inherently dangerous but some intersections and stretches of road can be especially unsafe. Illinois residents may feel this way after a recent deadly crash at the intersection of Irving Park Road and Mitchell Boulevard in Schaumburg.

The fatal accident happened just before 11 a.m. According to the Schaumburg Police Department, one car was headed east and tried to make a left-hand turn when a second car hit the passenger side. A 78-year-old passenger in the first car died and the driver was injured. The 78-year-old driver of the second car also suffered injuries. Neither driver&s injuries were life-threatening but the men were transported to a local hospital.

The accident shut down the intersection until the early afternoon. Police officers are still investigating the incident but it is not the first time that the intersection has seen tragedy.

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When motorcyclists enter the road, they expose themselves to certain dangers that other motorists do not encounter. By design, motorcycles lack the occupant protection afforded by cars and traditional vehicles. Motorcycles are much lighter than cars and there are no doors or seatbelts. Stability is also an issue with motorcycles, which operate on two wheels rather than four or more. Motorcycles are also harder for other drivers to see by virtue of their small size and low profile.

For these reasons and others, when riders are involved in a motorcycle accident the risk of injury or death is greatly increased. Certain areas in Illinois are experiencing a rise in fatal motor vehicle accidents in general. The number of deadly accidents is nearly twice as high this year and the number of motorcycle crashes is increasing as well.

As reported by the Illinois State Police, Adams, Brown, Pike, Scott and Schuyler counties are seeing almost two times the number of crashes and local residents point out more erratic drivers. Officers attribute some of the bad driving to the upcoming holiday season, which is prime condition for more crashes. As people head out to shop and run errands, there are simply more cars on the road creating opportunities for collisions. Speeding drivers is also a concern. When drivers travel too fast, they cannot stop in time to avoid an accident.

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Posted on in Motorcycle Accidents

Chicago motorcyclists can be truly passionate about riding. Some people consider riding a hobby, others a lifestyle. Either way, riding motorcycles embodies happiness and thrill for many. Unfortunately, this thrill comes at a great risk. When it comes to accidents, motorcycles are simply not a worthy opponent against the other vehicles on the road.

By their very nature, motorcycles are small, and can be tricky to spot on the road. These features make them prime targets for serious accidents. A recent motorcycle accident in Dixon, Illinois left a young rider dead.

The 20-year-old died after his motorcycle crashed into another car. The accident occurred around 11 a.m. on a Sunday morning. According to police, a 78-year-old man from Dixon was travelling west when he tried to make a left-hand turn from the left-turn lane. As he turned, he crashed into the motorcyclist who was travelling east.

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Tagged in: Motorcycle accident

Every year avid motorcyclists from Illinois and around the country make the road trip for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. This year marked the 73rd annual rally. But for one motorcycle enthusiast, the year&s event would be his last.

A 54-year-old man who worked for the Arlington Heights Park Department in Illinois was killed on his way home from Sturgis. The motorcycle accident occurred in Woodstock on a Sunday. According to officials, the biker was travelling east on U.S. Route 41. As he approached an intersection in Woodstock he crashed into a minivan that was trying to make a left hand turn. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash and he was not wearing a helmet. The driver of the minivan was transported to a nearby hospital, treated and released.

It appears that the minivan driver and the biker both ran a red light at the intersection. The driver of the minivan was cited for failing to yield in a left turn at an intersection. Local law enforcement officials are continuing to investigate the crash, but ruled out weather as a factor. As more details come forward, the family of the victim may consider filing a wrongful death claim against the minivan driver.

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Tagged in: Motorcycle accident
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