Recent traffic accident data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted a small decrease in American roadside deaths in 2017 (37,133) compared with 2016 (37,461). This number has been steadily increasing since 2013 before its recent drop. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao recognized this downward trend, but also expressed that there’s still work to be done to decrease roadside deaths significantly. Here’s what we can learn from recent accident data.
The need for helmets isn’t just to keep you alive; it may help you recover damages for injuries to the head. Wearing your helmet may not be the deciding factor to your injury claim, but it shows you’re a responsible motorcyclist. It could also indicate the negligence of the other driver. Insurance companies may also take helmet use into consideration. For example, if you were not wearing a helmet and sustained injuries during an accident, you may have to prove to the insurer that you would still have been injured even with a helmet.
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When you’re constantly shifting the conditions of your motorcycle insurance policy, there’s a risk that your bike won’t have proper coverage at the appropriate times. Set reminders for yourself on the type of coverage your motorcycle has at any given moment. Make sure coverage is added back on before you take it out for a spin. Otherwise, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to large deductibles and other risks when you’re operating an uninsured vehicle.
Illinois is still one of three states in the US that doesn’t enforce helmet-use among motorcyclists. It’s still an ongoing debate in the state, but using a helmet is highly encouraged because it can protect you from debilitating injuries. It’s also best for motorcycle riders to wear high-visibility clothing, especially when driving on busy highways.
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