Motorcycle ownership is on rise, and so are accidents. This is a nationwide trend and Illinois is no exception. For motorcyclists, few crashes are minor. Unlike automobile operators, riders are uniquely vulnerable to serious bodily injury and death. According to 2013 figures from the National Highway Transportation Safety Association, motorcycle accident fatality rates exceed those of passenger vehicles 26 times over. With the alarming level of risk that accompanies motorcycle accidents, it is critical for motorcyclists to understand prevalent dangers out there on the road.
Frequent Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
1. Head-on collisions. Motorcycles are rarely hit in the rear; this means that the vast majority of collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles are head-on and carry a high rider mortality rate.
2. Left-hand turns by passenger vehicles. This situation is the most dangerous of all for motorcyclists. Collisions of this kind are especially common when motorcyclists attempt to overtake and pass vehicles entering a left-hand turn. Accidents also occur when vehicles fail to detect motorcyclists that are proceeding straight through an intersection. This is why it is important for motorcyclists to take care when passing vehicles.
3. Motorcycle lane–splitting. Motorcycles driving between stopped or slow-moving vehicles are at a higher risk of collision, as many drivers do not anticipate encountering a motorcycle between lanes. In addition, lane-splitting decreases the motorcyclist’s maneuvering space thus increasing the chance of an accident.
4. Road hazards. Potholes, road kill, irregularities in road surface, wet or icy riding conditions, and unexpected objects in the road are just a handful of road hazards that are especially treacherous for motorcyclists.
5. Motorcyclist age, speeding and alcohol consumption. Younger motorcyclists are less cautious and more likely to exceed posts speed limits; these riders are also most likely to operate faster sport and supersport motorcycle models. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), nearly 50% of riders killed in motorcycle accidents have alcohol in their systems. Alcohol and motorcycle riding can be a lethal combination: alcohol increases thrill-seeking behaviors (such as speeding), delays physical response time and disrupts the rider’s sense of balance.
Affected by a motorcycle-related accident? Get the help you need.
Are you a motorcyclist who has been injured by driver inattention or negligence? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. The dedicated attorneys of Bonifield & Rosenstengel are here to help; we know the life-altering impact that a motorcycle accident can have on you and your loved ones. We will work hard on your behalf to obtain the compensation that you are due under Illinois law for your medical bills, wage losses, property damage and other losses you sustained because of the accident.