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Motorcycle fatalities are trending downward

Motorcycle fatalities have been trending downward on a national level. Between the years 2013 and 2014, the statistics saw a 2 percent dip. This isn't a huge change, but it is moving in the right direction.

This is big because it's not something that happens often. Since 1997, the fatality rate has never fallen in consecutive years -- until now. Additionally, in only two other years, besides 2014, has the rate actually gone down. In all others, it has moved upward.

Part of the problem, though, is that the rates are falling faster for other vehicles. As noted, motorcycles haven't even moved down often in the ratings, but other vehicles have dropped dramatically in the same time period. They fell by an entire 28 percent between 2003 and 2013. When compared to that, even this slight movement by motorcycles is not enough.

Illinois, though, is one of the states that has seen the most positive movement. In 213, there were 140 motorcycle fatalities. In 2014, there were 113, showing a drop of 27. Only a handful of states decreased more, including Arizona (-33), Florida (-28), Michigan (-31), New York (-35), Oklahoma (-32), South Carolina (-28) and Texas (-39). Many other states stayed even and even climbed higher in the rankings, including Oregon ( 13), Missouri ( 13) and Kansas ( 11).

No matter what the fatality rates look like, it's important to note that many motorcycle riders who are killed or injured at not actually at fault in those accidents. These individuals and their families must know what legal rights they have to seek compensation in the wake of these wrecks.

Source: Governors Highway Safety Administration, "Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State," accessed Aug. 25, 2015

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