Illinois Fatal Motorcycle Crash Statistics
Illinois reported a total of 147 motorcycle fatalities in 2015. This is a significant increase from the 118 total fatalities in 2014, but a decrease from the 152 deaths in 2013. Within the 147 deaths, 105 were reported as not wearing any type of helmet of safety headgear, and 40 were reported as wearing helmets. Two fatalities were recorded as unknown.
Illinois has a unique helmet law situation. Across the country, 19 states have a “universal” helmet law which requires all motorcyclists regardless of age to wear a helmet while operating or riding on a motorcycle. Other states have partial laws that require minor riders and all passengers to wear a helmet. Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire have no helmet laws whatsoever. The lack of helmet laws typically coincides with a much higher death rate, including in our state, where 71 percent of riders who died in traffic crashes were not wearing any head protection.
For three of the five years, the age bracket with the highest number of rider deaths was the 50 to 59-year-olds. In 2013, the 20 to 29-year old group had 36 fatalities and the most out of the 6 age groups presented. Illinois has over 300,000 motorcycles registered each year. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) calculates that for every 100,000 registered motorcycles in 2014, there were 33 fatalities. In 2013 there were 43 fatalities per 100,000 motorcycle registries.
Illinois has 102 counties, and while the majority reported zero to five fatalities, there were a few counties that had higher number recorded. Five counties reported 6 to 15 fatalities, and Cook County reported the highest number of deaths with 26 to 35. Cook County is also the most populated county in the state with over 5 million residents.