Statistics for motorcycle fatalities increasing

Published 08/13 2013 01:39PM

Updated 08/13 2013 01:44PM

SPRINGFIELD -- According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the number of fatal crashes for drunk drivers is rising; specifically for motorcyclists. WCIA-3's Alexandrea Davis has more.

Donna Swaggerty and her husband own Weebles. It's a biker-friendly bar on the edge of town. Swaggerty says it's a prime stop, as riders come and go, in and out of town.

"We have a lot of bikers. We're kind of a meeting spot on Sundays. We fix breakfast then we meet and decide where we're going on runs, whether we keep it on, move to Athens, Elkhart, Lincoln."

Swaggerty says it's not uncommon for groups to ride bar-to-bar for drinks. But some alarming statistics come from drinking and riding. State crash data reveals from 3 - 9 pm, the percentage of drunk motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes is more than double that of drunk drivers of any other type of vehicle.

"I think we're more aware of it now, since there are more people on the road riding."

Terry Redman, with IDOT, agrees with Swaggerty. He says 78,000 more bikes are on the road now than six years ago. And, if a rider's senses are impaired, they're more likely to wreck.

"About a third of all motorcycle fatalities involve alcohol or drugs and that's not only illegal, that's prescription drugs also."

Redman says there's no room for error on a bike and it's the riders job to make themselves seen. IDOT also recommends bikers wear proper gear, including bright colors and an IDOT-approved helmet.

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