If you’ve been watching the news lately, it’s understandable if you’ve been overwhelmed by how little of it is good news. We’re not bringing the quality of your favorite news network into question, but the most relevant subject matter lately has been, for lack of a better word, depressing, so it’s refreshing when statistics collected by the Illinois Department of Transportation indicate that the number of motorcycle fatalities so far this year has been considerably lower than last year’s. Hopefully, this may lower motorcycle insurance rates.
Between January and July of 2013, 84 motorcycle fatalities occurred in Illinois alone, not to mention the countless injuries and accidents, but during the same period in 2014, fatalities have dropped 30 percent to 60. The change is even more notable when examined from a county-to-county angle.
While Sangamon County had the same number of fatalities, only one rider perished in Macon County. Compare that to the three that died in the county last year, and the improvement can already be seen in individual communities, but the most significant area improvement was in Morgan County. Between January and July of 2013, five people lost their lives while riding their motorcycles, but in the same span of time in 2014, a grand total of zero have met the same fate.
All three motorcycle deaths in Sangamon County happened unfortunately close to the end of the data’s collection. All three of their motorcycle-related fatalities occurred between two accidents, both occurring in July of this year.
With fatalities dropping and the roads apparently becoming safer, it’s a great time to invest in motorcycle insurance. Your insurance provider should be able to give you a motorcycle insurance quote and help you explore the various benefits.
One possible explanation for this drop could be the decrease in motorcycles on Illinois roads, but considering how little the number has dropped, that seems unlikely. In 2013, there were 360,883 motorcycles on the road, and now, in 2014, that number has dropped slightly to 360,188, but in the grand scheme of things, the number has still risen.
In 2004, for instance, only 263,000 were registered, and in 2009, the growth was already apparent. This was the high point of motorcycle ownership, with a record 365,448 registered motorcycles. The number of registered motorcycles in Sangamon County alone is 7,615, and while that’s down from 2013’s 7,813, it’s not a big enough difference to cause the 30% drop in fatalities that seems to be occurring.
Perhaps motorcycle riders are just being safer, or perhaps this positive trend can be attributed to a recent law that increased the speed limit for motorcyclists on the state’s rural interstates. Supporters state that the law, allowing motorcycles to travel as quickly as cars, would make roads safer. Illinois State Police made no comment on how their strategies could be responsible for this decrease, but it’s possible that the lower number of fatalities is the result of multiple combined efforts. Many changes have occurred for motorcyclists in Illinois.
Hopefully, this trend will continue until the end of the year. With such a significant decrease in motorcycle-related deaths, it wouldn’t be surprising if other states begin to mimic Illinois’ new, possibly lifesaving, policies.
Do you ride a motorcycle recreationally or are you more of an enthusiast? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to include your thoughts about the declining fatality rates.