Illinois Motorcyclist Safety And Helmet Use

Motorcycle rider safety is a critically important topic.  According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) in 2012, there were 3,312 crashes in which motorcyclists were injured in Illinois, and 148 Illinois motorcyclist deaths.

Another such statistic regarding Illinois fatal motorcycle crashes is mentioned in the May 3, 2012 post concerning Illinois motorcycle safety:

Motorcycle fatalities accounted for 16 percent of total fatalities within Illinois in 2011. Statistics show a motorcyclist is more vulnerable than a passenger vehicle occupant in the event of a crash. Research from DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 39 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in traffic crashes.

On this site many motorcycle accident statistics and summaries of motorcycle accidents are provided in order to try to enhance understandings of Chicago and other Illinois motorcycle accidents and their causes.  Additionally, motorcycle safety resources are provided, as well as various posts concerning motorcycle rider safety.

Of course, there are many actions that can be taken to improve motorcycle riding safely.  This may be particularly important in the the Chicago area, as research has indicated that traffic in the area is among the most congested in the country.

There are a large range of steps that can be taken to improve the safety of riding a motorcycle in Illinois, and these steps include being able to spot drunk motorists, who have been involved in many fatal motorcycle accidents, as well as avoiding riding a motorcycle after drinking.

Of course, perhaps the foremost step a motorcyclist can take to avoid a fatal motorcycle accident is to wear a proper motorcycle helmet.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a document titled “Motorcycle Safety” (pdf) which features statistics regarding motorcycle accidents as well as recommendations on how to protect motorcyclists.

As seen on page 3:

“Our role is to identify ways to prevent injury and death
and rigorously check what works and what does not work.
For motorcycle safety, the research shows that universal
helmet laws are the most effective way to reduce the
number of deaths and traumatic brain injuries that
result from crashes.”
Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC Director

Also, as seen on page 6:

Helmets: Forty-one percent of motorcycle operators and 50%
of motorcycle passengers who died in 2010 were not wearing a

On page 10, a “Summary Of Motorcycle Safety Efforts” is presented.  An excerpt from this page:

The only safety measure that costs little to initiate and reaches all riders is a state universal motorcycle helmet law. It is also the only measure proven to improve motorcycle safety

On page 11, a discussion of motorcycle helmets is presented.  Numerous notable statistics are presented, including the following:

  • Helmets are estimated to reduce the likelihood of death in a motorcycle crash by 37%
  • Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69%.
  • Unhelmeted riders are 40% more likely to die from a head injury than someone wearing a helmet

As well, this commentary is provided with regard to traumatic brain injury (TBI):

Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of motorcycle crash death. Even when not fatal, these debilitating head injuries can mean a lifetime of costly rehabilitation and severe emotional trauma for family and friends. In fact, treating severe traumatic brain injuries costs 13 times more than non-brain injuries.

For additional information regarding traumatic brain injuries, the CDC provides various information regarding TBI on its Traumatic Brain Injury page; additionally, Mayo Clinic also has various information resources concerning TBI on its Traumatic brain injury page.