Traffic fatalities in Wisconsin up in May

More people were killed in traffic accidents in Wisconsin in May 2014 than the year prior.

As we no longer have to contend with ice and snow, Wisconsin motorists are more likely to travel by motorcycle and other motor vehicle drivers are increasingly traveling at high rates of speed. This combination can be deadly on Wisconsin roads.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, May was a particularly dangerous month for drivers in Wisconsin. This year, 48 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in Wisconsin in May – 16 fatalities more than took place in May 2013.

In all, 164 people have died in motor vehicle accidents in Wisconsin in 2014 so far. Of those, 18 were motorcyclists and two were motorcycle passengers, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Motorcycle accidents a serious issue in Wisconsin

In 2012, 112 motorcyclists died on Wisconsin roads, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that one of the factors contributing to Wisconsin’s high motorcyclist fatality rate is the lack of a universal helmet law in the state.

Currently, only motorcyclists under the age of 18 and those with an instructional permit are required to wear helmets when on the road in Wisconsin. The state had a universal helmet law, but it was repealed in 1978.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just four lives for every 100,000 registered motorcycles were saved due to helmet use in Wisconsin in 2010. States with universal helmet laws for motorcyclists see much higher rates – on average, 36 lives are saved for every 100,000 registered motorcycles in states with universal helmet laws.

In all, helmet use lowers the risk of a motorcyclist fatality by 37 percent and the likelihood of a serious brain injury by 69 percent, according to the CDC.

While helmet use is one important safety tool for motorcyclists, other drivers on the road must also take precautions to ensure motorcyclists are safe. Another vehicle is involved in more than 50 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents, based on data from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Of those, the other motorist is typically the individual at fault for the accident.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a motorcycle in Wisconsin, you need to take steps to protect your interests. Consider seeking the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney, who will advise you regarding the best course of action to obtain any compensation to which you may be entitled.