Even though the calendar says there are only a few weeks left in July, there is still plenty of time for people to get outdoors to enjoy their favorite summertime activities. While for many this can mean more low-key activities like taking the boat out for fishing, for others it can mean more high-octane pursuits like cruising down the highway on a motorcycle.
While motorcycle enthusiasts will tell you there is simply nothing like the feel of the open road and the freedom offered by two wheels, it’s nevertheless important for all riders, no matter their experience level, to make safe driving a priority for the remainder of the summer and into the fall.
By way of incentive, consider some of the following statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation:
- There were 148 fatal motorcycle accidents in the state in 2012 alone.
- These 148 motorcycle fatalities accounted for more than 15 percent of all motor vehicle accident deaths despite the fact that motorcycles made up only 3-4 percent of total vehicle registrations.
- The number of motorcycle fatalities in the state has consistently increased over the years, jumping by more than 19 percent from 2009 to 2012.
What then can motorcyclists do to stay safe?
- Always wear a properly fitted helmet that meets the strict standards established by the Department of Transportation.
- Always wear the necessary protective clothing, including closed-toe shoes or boots, reflective items (vest, patches, etc.), and long-sleeves and pants that are constructed of either lightweight body armor or leather.
- Complete a safety refresher course to ensure that you are up on the rules of the road and your skills are up to the task.
- Check the weather and road conditions before heading out, and inform people where you are going.
Above all else, it’s important to know that if you are injured or have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident that you do have rights and you do have options for seeking the justice you deserve.
Source: KTBC, “Expert offers motorcycle safety tips,” July 6, 2014