The statistics are sobering: Motorcyclists are 39 times more likely to be killed when in an accident than those in cars and trucks. Data from the National Highway Safety Administration repeatedly shows that, while the overall numbers of cars and motorcycle accidents have decreased in recent years, there is still a long way to go. That is particularly true when it comes to motorcycle safety. Our Chicago accident lawyers know that those on motorcycle riders are not only more likely to be injured when in an accident, but they are more likely to get into an accident in the first place.
The public still needs to focus more attention on motorcycle safety. That is why organizations across the country are honoring May as national Motorcycle Awareness Month. At a basic level, the awareness campaign is focused on getting all those on the road to look twice, check mirrors, and otherwise keep a better eye out for the motorcyclists who are sharing the road with them. Our Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers know that many local riders have been hurt (or even killed) when car drivers failed to see them when making basic maneuvers like lane changes and turns.
The American Motorcycle Association (AMA) explains that this month’s outreach program is an annual event in the motorcycle community that has been pushed through various gubernatorial and legislative promotions across the country.
May is the designated month because it represents a time when many parts of the country-including Chicago-will see riders emerge on the roadways from their cold weather slumber. Of course, this time of year is a boon for those who enjoy being on the road on their bikes. But it represents a danger, because car and truck drivers may be less familiar with the basic safety practices of sharing the road with motorcyclists.
The AMA CEO explained that “Many road users are not always mindful of those with whom they share the road, and an annual reminder is helpful for them to recognize the flow of motorcycles in traffic, and make extra efforts to watch for motorcycles.”
Each Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer at our firm knows that at the end of the day, so many motorcycle accidents are caused by one simple fact: car and truck drivers do not see motorcyclists. Much of this might be a basic awareness issue. For a variety of reasons, those in cars are more likely to keep a look-out for trucks and pedestrians, but there is less constant surveying for motorcyclists.
AMA officials explain that problems are particularly common at intersections. For example, looking twice at an intersection to ensure motorcycles are not coming or missed may save lives. In addition, it is important for other travelers not to follow too closely to those on bikes. All travelers need their space, and because bikes are smaller, there is a tendency to fail to provide the space needed to travel together safety.
We encourage all local travelers to use this month as another reminder to be on the lookout for motorcycles with which they are sharing the road.
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