If you regularly ride a motorcycle in Lombard or elsewhere in DuPage County, or even if you regularly share the road with motorcyclists, it is probably obvious that bikers have less protection in the event of a motorcycle accident than do vehicle occupants. Motorcyclists do not have the protection of the automobile’s body, airbags, and other safety features that often come standard in many vehicles.
While numerous studies have analyzed motorcycle collisions and their severity, a recent report from U.S. News & World Report suggests that motorcycle crashes are actually costlier and deadlier than many researchers and safety advocates previously believed.
Significantly Higher Death Rates in Motorcycle Accidents
The report looks at a recent study conducted by researchers in Ontario, which determined that “the death rate from motorcycle crashes was five times greater than from car crashes, and the rate of severe injury was 10 times greater.” In addition to those strikingly high figures for serious injury and fatality rates in motorcycle crashes, the researchers found that the economic costs of motorcycle accidents are much higher than most people believe. Indeed, motorcycle collisions result in “a six times greater cost to the health care system” than other motor vehicle crashes.
Based on the parameters of the study, the researchers believe that the results are not localized, but rather could be applicable to urban areas, from Chicagoland to other parts of the country. The study was published in the journal CMAJ, and it surveyed more than 300,000 motorcyclists who were involved in serious collisions between 2007 and 2013.
Need for Better Motorcycle Safety Laws and Helmet Requirements
Why is this new study important? It emphasizes that the costs of motorcycle crashes are higher—both in terms of economics and lives lost—than were previously reported. As such, it underscores the need for greater considerations of motorcycle safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) points out that Illinois does not have a universal helmet law, and is one of only two states without such a law. What does this mean for DuPage County residents? In short, motorcyclists are not required by law to wear a motorcycle helmet.
The recent study suggests that a nationwide universal helmet law—or individual universal helmet laws in each state—are the best way to ensure motorcyclist safety. According to a spokesperson for the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), “just telling people to wear helmet is not enough.” To be sure, “you really need the strength of the law behind it.”
In addition to a helmet law in Illinois, the GHSA also highlights the importance of making alcohol-impaired driving laws stricter for motorcyclists. Given that nearly 30 percent of all motorcyclists involved in a deadly crash have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, the authors of the study intimate that stricter laws concerning alcohol consumption and driving a motorcycle could reduce the rate of serious and fatal motorcycle crashes.
Speak with a Lombard Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love recently sustained serious injuries in a motorcycle crash, you should speak with a passionate DuPage County motorcycle accident attorney about your case. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC to learn more about how we can assist you.
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