Motorcycles present their riders with a sense of adventure and freedom. Many riders find it invigorating and enjoyable to get out on the road for a long ride on a weekend. Some riders like to ride alone, while others prefer to ride in a group. Other riders enjoy getting out on a nice day to get to and from work. Unfortunately, the excitement and pure joy that comes with a ride on nice day can turn into a life-changing event in the event of a crash.
Regardless of how safe motorcyclists operate their bikes, the unfortunate fact is they cannot control the other drivers on the road. A staggering number of motorcycle accidents are caused by drivers in larger vehicles. If you’ve suffered as a result of another driver’s negligence, our Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers are prepared to vigorously represent you and get you the justice and compensation you deserve.
Motorcycle Crash Statistics in Illinois
While motorcycle accidents may not occur as frequently as car and truck accidents, they are more likely to result in serious injury or death. Motor vehicles are simply larger and heavier than motorcycles, and being on a motorcycle takes the safety barrier that an automobile has out of the picture, making riders more susceptible to suffering serious, life-altering injuries in the event of a crash. A large number of these accidents occur when a car strikes a motorcycle from the front. This frequently occurs when a car makes an incorrect left-hand turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle. Another common cause of motorcycle accidents is when drivers of other vehicles are inattentive and suddenly switch lanes and cut off or strike motorcyclists.
In order to fully understand the seriousness of motorcycle accidents and the impact they have on the residents of Illinois and their families, let’s take a look at the following statistics were gathered from the 2016 Illinois Crash Facts and Statistics report:
- Motorcycle crashes accounted for 1.1 percent of all accidents in 2016.
- The majority of accidents occurred on city streets and roads, like those in Chicago.
- There were 3,504 motorcycle crashes.
- Most of the victims were over the age of 45.
- 152 of those crashes were fatal.
- 3,323 of those accidents resulted in injury.
- Of the motorcyclists involved in the crashes, 3,635 were injured and 154 died.
- The majority of the accidents were multi-vehicle collisions.
- Most of the motorcycles involved in accidents were driving straight.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Chicago
When proper safety measures are taken, and all drivers follow the established road laws, most motorcycle accidents are 100 percent preventable. When these accidents do occur, the victims can suffer from serious life-altering consequences such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, broken bones, road rash, and more. The injuries often require long-term treatment plans that can cost tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As a responsible motorcyclist, it’s important to understand the common reasons collisions occur, so you can remain as vigilant as possible while riding.
- Improper Left Turns. As mentioned above, improper left turns contribute to a high number of motorcycle accidents. When a car makes a distance misjudgment or right of way error, a motorcycle traveling straight it at risk for being struck.
- Unsafe Lane Changes. Drivers risk colliding with a motorcycle if they fail to signal their intention to switch lanes. There’s also the chance a driver won’t see a motorcycle if they do not thoroughly check their blind spots.
- Speeding is one of the leading causes of all automobile/motorcycle accidents. If a driver is speeding, no matter what vehicle they’re in, they decrease the control they have over their vehicle, as well as their stopping distance and the chances that they’ll be able to stop quickly and efficiently in the event of an emergency.
- Road Rage/Impatience. Many drivers are not used to seeing large groups of motorcycles traveling together. Motorcyclists that travel in packs tend to be experienced riders who know and understand how to communicate with one another and how to safely travel. Many have been driving together for years. Drivers of automobiles who encounter these experienced groups often become impatient and may take risks to get around or away from groups of motorcyclists. Drivers of automobiles need to understand that the motorcyclist has the same rights as the automobile driver and obey all traffic laws if attempting to pass the group.
- Inattentive/Distracted Drivers. Motorcycles are smaller than cars. Drivers on their cellular phones or other electronic devices can simply miss a motorcyclist. Their lack of attention for even a few seconds can result in a tragic event.
- Driving Under the Influence. Drugs and alcohol inhibit our ability to make decisions and act appropriately in any given circumstance. When driving is added to the mix, the consequences can be deadly.
- Unexpected Stops. A motorcyclist can sustain serious injuries if the vehicle in front of them stops suddenly. They face the possibility of rear-ending the car.
- Lane Splitting. While many motorcycle owners are responsible riders, there are those who do not drive as responsibly as they should. When a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of traffic it’s called lane splitting. This can startle other drivers, and lead to deadly crashes.
- Inexperienced Drivers. Driving a motorcycle is not like driving a car. That is why prospective motorcyclists have to take a separate driving course. When an inexperienced rider takes their motorcycle out, they risk getting into an accident. Young drivers in cars may also be unaware of the importance of looking for motorcycles while they’re on the road.
- Inclement Weather. Because motorcycles only have two wheels, rain, ice, and snow can create deadly conditions.
- Poor Roads. When roads are poorly maintained, motorcyclists may have to deal with potholes, gravel, and other debris on the road.
- Motorcycle Defects. In some instances, a manufacturer can be held liable for your motorcycle accident if any of the parts were found to be defective.
If you or a loved one has been injured or lost their life in a motorcycle accident, our attorneys are prepared to represent you. We will investigate your claim and build the strongest case possible to assist in recovering damages for your past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, past and future pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life associated with your accident.
If you’d like to start your claim or have questions about the legal process, contact our office today.