The rate of motorcycle deaths is hardly improving. While the spike in fatalities is worse in the Sunbelt States, Illinois has also had its fair share of motorcycle deaths. Many people argue that impaired and distracted driving is the primary cause of this. Drivers remain distracted by their phones, gadgets built into their high-tech vehicles and passengers riding with them. Others may simply not bother to look out for motorcyclists on the road. 

Forbes states that though motorcycle deaths decreased in 2018, the overall death rate was 28 times all other types of road fatalities. In 2017 alone, almost 5,000 motorcyclists died in traffic accidents. Even this is 300% less than where it stood the year before. However, it is still not low enough. Motorcycle deaths also did not decrease in all states. Forbes estimates that 18 states actually saw an increase. 

Numbers for 2018 published by the NHTSA did show slight improvement. Motorcycle deaths decreased to 4,985. Needless to say, drivers and riders have a long way to go. Here are some tips from the NHTSA to help reduce fatalities: 

  • Motorcyclists should never operate their vehicle while under the influence of substances. 
  • Motorcyclists should wear helmets that are DOT compliant. 
  • Motorcyclists should take extra care to make themselves visible to other road users. 
  • Drivers should make a stronger effort to understand the safety challenges of motorcycle riding. 
  • Drivers should pay better attention to riding practices, such as weaving through traffic or downshifting and respond accordingly. 

If all road users cooperate, then riding can become safer for motorcyclists. Until drivers take more responsibility for their role in traffic accidents and their ability to prevent them, the burden of remaining safe will continue to rest unfairly on the shoulders or motorcyclists.