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Iowa motorcycle statistics in the winter months

Motorcycles aren't often seen on Iowa roads during the winter months. The cold and inclement weather make riding a motorcycle unpleasant and often dangerous. However, people who love to ride motorcycles probably can't wait for the springtime. Until that comes, it may be a good time to discuss motorcycle safety and the related legal issues.

According to statistics from the Iowa Department of Transportation, there were no reported motorcycle crashes or fatalities in January or February in 2014 and 2013. The numbers started to pick up as temperatures rose and reached peaks in August during both those years. The tally at the end of 2013 was 41 fatalities in 38 motorcycle crashes. The tally for 2014 was 42 fatalities in 42 crashes.

In the majority of these crashes, the Department of Transportation reports, the motorcyclists were not wearing helmets. Unlike most other states, Iowa does not have a law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets. Safety advocates continue to argue that our state needs a helmet law, but their repeated attempts to pass one have failed in the face of opposition from motorcyclist organizations. No doubt, that debate will continue.

However, it's important to remember that there are threats to the safety of motorcyclists that don't have much to do with whether or not they are wearing helmets. Sometimes the helmet law debate obscures the fact that many motorcycle crashes are caused by other drivers. Too often, car or truck drivers don't see motorcyclists and violate their right of way, causing a collision. And in these collisions, motorcyclists are much more likely than occupants of other types of vehicles to be seriously injured or killed. That's true whether the motorcyclist is wearing a helmet or not.

When motorcyclists are injured or killed due to another driver's negligence, victims and their loved ones may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim or a wrongful death suit. Iowa attorneys with experience in these matters can help the injured and grieving family members to understand how the law may apply to the unique circumstances of their case and advise them on their best course of action.

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