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The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has many tools available on its website to help you understand different driving conditions and circumstances on how to be a safe driver. It offers advice on distracted driving, pedestrians, and child safety; but one of the biggest topics is motorcycles.
Riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving a car—most people can agree on that. However, this doesn’t stop many motorcyclists from taking unnecessary risks. One situation unique to motorcyclists is the use of a helmet. According to NHTSA’s 2008 traffic data for motorcyclists, there were 5,290 motorcyclists that were killed in an accident, and 96,000 that were injured. 121 of those that were killed in 2008 came from Illinois; and from those, 74 percent were not wearing helmets (35 percent had a BAC of .08 or higher—past the legal limit).
The importance of helmets in motorcycle safety cannot be overlooked. The NHTSA estimates that in 2008, approximately 1,829 lives were saved by the use of helmet; they also believe that approximately 823 more lives could have been spared if the riders had been wearing one at the time of their accident.
Fortunately, the NHTSA is seeing a rising trend in the use of helmets. In 2009, 67 percent of motorcyclists reported using helmets, in comparison to 63 percent in 2008. In states with a universal helmet law, the percentage rose from 78 percent in 2008 to 86 percent in 2009. But not all of the statistics showed an increase. While helmets were worn by 75 percent of riders in rural areas, only 57 percent of urban riders reported using one—a 15-percentage-point drop from 2008.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver in DuPage County, you should be grateful to be alive. However, injuries sustained from motorcycle accidents can be debilitating and cause difficulties in many aspects of your life. Contact our firm to learn what options are available to you.
Image courtesy freedigitalphotos.net
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