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Wisconsin program aims to prevent motorcycle accidents

While winter weather may not be the best time for taking the bike out for a ride, spring and summer will be here soon, and with them, so will the unfortunate reality of motorcycle accidents. Serious brain injuries are one of the main causes behind fatalities in motorcycle accidents, but education and awareness may be helping to combat this. The number of motorcycle-related death across the state of Wisconsin has dropped, hitting the lowest numbers since 2009.

While the shorter riding season last year may be one factor for the decrease in accidents and deaths, the decline is also being partially attributed to an increased push toward safety awareness, according the manager of the Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Program. According to a recent report, 74 percent of riders who died in 2012 accidents were not wearing helmets. That number was down to 71 percent in 2013.

The president of the motorcycle rights group ABATE believes that the downturn in deaths isn't just due to increased helmet use. He argues that it is more about general safety awareness. In 2013, the Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Program and the Department of Tourism worked together to put out electronic billboards reminding riders and drivers to be aware of motorcyclists on the road.

While general safety education is a vital component of staying safe on a motorcycle, wearing a helmet has been shown to decrease the risk of brain injury and save lives. However, wearing a helmet is not a guarantee against an accident or serious brain injury. If an accident does occur, the motorcyclist may be entitled to compensation if fault is found with the motorist. Every case is different and talking with a personal injury can ensure those who are injured are aware of all the options.

Source: htrnews.com, "Wisconsin motorcycle fatalities decline in 2013" Colleen Kottke, Jan. 18, 2014

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