Chicago motorcycle accidents decline; tough economy cited as primary reason

Preliminary numbers for 2009 show what might be the first significant decline in motorcycle accidents in more than a decade, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.Authorities cite the economy as a primary factor for the reduction.

The Governors Highway Safety Association reports a 10 percent decline in 2009, to a total of 4,762 fatal accidents, based on preliminary statistics. Fatal Chicago motorcycle accidents were down 18 percent, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

As we reported recently on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers blog, spring is a dangerous time for Chicago motorcycle accidents. New riders hit the road alongside veteran riders who are gearing up for the summer riding season. Motorists need to use extra caution in watching for motorcyclists and are urged to give them the space and respect they need and deserve to stay safe on the road.

In the six-county Chicago area, deaths fell to 47 in 2009, compared to 57 in 2008 and 68 in 2007. Statewide, motorcycle accidents declined to 130 in 2009, compared to 135 in 2008.

Nationwide, accidents have increased with the popularity of motorcycling. The number of registered motorcycles has nearly doubled in the last decade, from 4 million in 1998 to more than 7 million this year. Illinois motorcycle accidents killed 121 riders in 2008. Nationwide, 5,290 riders were killed and more than 100,000 were injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While the overall number of fatal traffic accidents has declined in recent years, the number of fatal motorcycle accidents had increased each year for more than a decade until last year. In 1998, 2,294 fatalities and 49,000 injuries were reported.

Every rider can benefit from a rider safety course. Free courses are offered through Northern Illinois University.

The Illinois motorcycle accident attorneys at Abels & Annes provide experienced representation to riders who have been injured in riding accidents throughout the Chicago area. Call today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

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