Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accident

Unfortunately, most veteran motorcyclists can recall at least one or two close calls while riding in traffic. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are roughly 35 times more likely to be involved in a deadly accident while on the road that their counterparts riding in passenger vehicles.

To some extent, this thrill of living on the edge and relishing the excitement of every trip is what makes owning a motorcycle so much fun. Still, there is a fine line between a thrill and a life altering accident, and riders (especially those lacking experience) shouldn’t wait until they’ve had a near-collision to learn that certain situations on the road are more dangerous than others. Here are a few motorcycle accident traffic scenarios that arise often; by reading about them now, our lawyers hope this list of situations to avoid will help motorcyclists stay a little safer in the future.
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For several decades, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Department of Transportation (DoT), and countless other federal and state regulatory agencies have been working hard to promote driver safety in the United States. Because of their efforts, fatalities and injuries related to car accidents, pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents have all experienced historic declines, and it has never been safer to get into a motor vehicle. Still, even with this wave of successful safety campaigns, there is one group of motorists that has fallen through the cracks, motorcyclists. The number of deaths involving motorcycle accidents has increased during 13 of the past 14 years, but despite the statistics, they continue to be in high demand. With sales data indicating that motorcycles are here to stay, education and caution will be crucially important in curbing these troubling statistics. (Department of Transportation)
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Statistics tell us that on average, driving or riding in a vehicle is most dangerous thing that most people will do each day; that is, unless they own a motorcycle. According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a motorcyclist is roughly 35 times more likely to become the victim of a fatal traffic accident, and are far more susceptible to serious traumatic injury than an individual traveling in passenger car.

Injuries suffered in these crashes can change a rider’s life forever, and can affect the lives of their loved ones as well. Some of the most common personal injuries experienced as a result of motorcycle accidents include:
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According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths related to automobile accidents (including cars, SUVs, and light trucks) reached an all-time low in the United States. Unfortunately, while we continue to make progress in terms of motor vehicle safety, motorcycle safety represents an entirely different trend. During the period spanning 1999 to 2008, motorcyclist fatalities more than doubled, reaching an all time high. Despite the fact that some estimates tab motorcyclists as being 35 times more likely to be involved in a deadly accident than those driving cars, motorcycle use continues to grow, with new riders registering their bikes every day. (Center for Disease Control & Prevention; motorcycle.org)

Our Chicago lawyers have experience handling lawsuits involving motorcycle accident injuries. What follows are a few tips we have devised to help new motorcyclists keep themselves safe on the road:

Don’t Overbuy-When shopping for our first bike, make sure it fits you. That means matching your needs both physically (when seated, you should be able to place both feet flat on the ground, handle bars should be easily reached, and the motorcycle should be a weight you can handle) and in terms of performance capability. Failing to take these basic precautions can be an accident waiting to happen.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed on this one, but we may be finally emerging from what has seemed like an endless winter in Chicago. Forecasts are predicting highs well above freezing for the first time in months, and that means we are somewhat close to spring. For many motorcyclists, this is the chance they have been waiting for to get out on the road and ride, and as such, our lawyers thought it might be a good idea to offer a few facts and tips with regard to this unique demographic.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to experience a deadly accident while on the road than the drivers or passengers in passenger vehicles. Our Chicago car accident lawyers wanted to provide a few of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, and offer some information and advice pertaining to each:

Poor or adverse weather conditions-Because motorcycles don’t have four wheels, they are substantially less stable than a car; slick conditions that could cause a car to lose traction and skid could prove disastrous to a motorcyclist. Don’t ride your bike in icy or slick conditions unless you have to, and if you do, be extremely cautious.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle riders are roughly 35 times more likely to be involved in a deadly traffic accident than the drivers of passenger vehicles. Those are pretty frightening odds to begin with, and this time of year the late-fall weather isn’t doing motorcyclists any favors. Yesterday, a motorcycle accident in Montgomery County resulted in the death of a Springfield man.

According to reports from the Illinois State Police, the collision occurred at approximately 12:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon on Interstate 55. Initial analysis claims that the victim was riding his 2013 Honda Goldwing northbound near post 60 when he crashed into the rear end of a 2013 Chevrolet Suburban, which was pulling a U-Haul trailer. Further investigation of the incident revealed that the suburban had slowed down due to traffic at the same moment that another vehicle traveling behind it switched lanes abruptly. The motorcyclist was left unable to react to the situation in time, and although he attempted to reduce his speed, he struck the vehicle. The man was pronounced dead as the scene shortly after medical staff arrived. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

More than half of all motorcycle deaths involve at least one other vehicle, and many other motorcycle accidents are caused by riders not being able to react in time to the behaviors of drivers around them. Poor weather conditions, not utilizing turn signals, abrupt lane changes, and illegal passing are all very common impetuses for such collisions. While there are certainly fewer motorcycles on the road now that the weather has grown colder, it is still incredibly important to be cognizant of your surroundings when driving, and act responsibly to prevent these kinds of accidents. (MotorcycleAccident.org)

It’s unfortunate, but traffic accidents happen all the time. However, motorcyclists are 25 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than the drivers of passenger cars, and to some extent, this danger and thrill is what attracts many individuals to motorcycles in the first place. With summer drawing to a close, many people are trying to take advantage of their final days of sunshine to get out on the road and ride, but one person’s negligence is enough to turn a simple cruise into a tragedy.

White County authorities say that two motorcycle passengers, as well as the driver who hit them were killed after a collision last week. According to the sheriff on the scene, the truck crossed into the motorcycles path, striking both riders before eventually hitting a tree. All victims were pronounced dead at the scene. (WGEM)

It is not uncommon for motorcycles to become lost in blind spots or overlooked completely, and for this reason it is crucially important for riders to know how to react in the event of an imminent collision. What follows are a few tips our lawyers collected to help motorcyclists avoid serious injuries in the event of an unavoidable accident.

Summer is a dangerous time of year for motorcyclists, and it seems like recently there has been a new tragic story about an Illinois rider being injured or killed every week. Government agencies have estimated that the number of traffic fatalities per mile traveled is about 30 times greater for motorcyclists than it is for the occupants of passenger vehicles, but that doesn’t mean some of motorcycle accidents can’t be prevented. Our lawyers want to take this opportunity to provide you with a few little known facts about motorcycles, which we hope will help keep both drivers and motorcyclists a little safer.

Perception-Because of its small frame, and also because of the fact that many people have their traffic perception calibrated for cars, motorcyclists may look farther away than they actually are. By the same token, it can also be very difficult to estimate the speed of a motorcyclist at a distance. If you are checking traffic to turn at an intersection, or are using your mirrors to merge into another lane, always assume that a motorcycle is closer than you think.

Brake Lights-If you are a motorcyclist or a driver, you can back me up when I say, absolutely no one likes tailgaters. This is especially dangerous for motorcycles because riders often decrease their speed by downshifting, or simply letting off the throttle, and this doesn’t activate their brake light. When riding behind a motorcycle, it is important to be ready to slow down, even in the absence of a visual warning.

The appeal of riding a motorcycle is incontrovertible, and has a long history as a part of the ethos of the United States. Following World War II, many veterans utilized motorcycles as a replacement for the camaraderie, thrill, and danger that they had become accustomed to while fighting overseas. Eventually, these men began grouping together in loosely organized clubs, forming a series of tight knit social institutions that were as much about lifestyle as they were about riding. Recent years have seen a resurgence in the popularity of many bike brands, and while the machines have certainly changed, one aspect of motorcycling has proven immutable, danger.

This weekend, a motorcyclist was seriously injured in an accident that caused law enforcement officials to temporarily shut down the Lake Shore I-55 ramp. According to a Chicago Fire Department spokesperson, the 25-year-old victim appeared to be the subject of a hit-and-run, and has been transported to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition. (Chicago Tribune)

Automobile safety has progressed by leaps and bounds in the last half-century, but unfortunately there is only so much that technology can do when it comes to motorcycles. We can now purchase vehicles equipped with side airbags, child seats, crumple zones, as well as a multitude of other devices to prevent or lessen serious injuries during car accidents. However, many of these burgeoning utilities are of no use to motorcyclists, and this is one of the main reasons why they are 35 times more likely to experience a deadly accident than their passenger vehicle counterparts. (CDC; MotorcycleAccident.org)

As our reader can see by our recent coverage, Illinois motorcycle accidents are much more common during the summer due to the nice weather and the need to go out and have fun after a long winter. As a result, it is important to remind motorcyclists and drivers to use caution and share the road. Although riding a motorcycle can be much more dangerous than driving a passenger vehicle due to the size of most bikes, many of the fatalities and injuries that occur within this particular demographic can be avoided if drivers AND motorcyclists remember to pay closer attention and always practice caution while driving.

This week, a North Pekin woman was issued a citation for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident for her role in an accident that claimed one motorcyclist’s life, and injured another. According to authorities, the woman struck the two motorcyclists from behind after they were forced to slow down to avoid farm equipment on the roadway. The collision sent the first rider’s motorcycle slamming into the other, causing serious traumatic injury to the head and neck; neither rider was wearing a helmet. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene, due to what a later autopsy determined was a broken neck. The second motorcyclist was transported to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, and is listed in currently listed in good condition. (Journal Star)

As drivers and riders, we often forget that our actions affect not only ourselves, but everyone else on the road as well. Whether you are a motorcyclists, a pedestrian, a cyclist, or the driver of a passenger vehicle, it is important to remember that your reckless or negligent actions are capable of putting others in danger at any one time.

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