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.
Lack of visibility on the road-Unfortunately, many motorcycle accidents happen for the simple reason that these small machines are much harder to see, especially when motorists are usually scanning the road for vehicles comparable to their own. This can cause motorcyclists to be hit by automobiles even when acting responsibly, and makes irresponsible actions like lane splitting (i.e., when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes in traffic jams or other stoppages of traffic) extremely dangerous. As a motorcyclist, make yourself as visible as possible, and ensure that your actions on the road are highly cautious and predictable.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol of drugs-According to the NHTSA, in 2010, 29% of all motorcycle accident fatalities involved riders with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. Operating a motorcycle requires much more involvement than a normal vehicle, and balance is also crucially important, making the use of alcohol and other mind-altering drugs even more hazardous than it would be normally. Never, ever drive or ride drunk.
Speeding-37% of all motorcycle accidents also involved speeding, and this is not necessarily surprising. Many motorcyclists are drawn to motorbikes because of the thrill and freedom, but doing this nearly doubles your risk of a fatal accident. (motorcycleaccident.org)
If you or someone you know thinks they may have a motorcycle accident lawsuit, feel free to call us any time for a free consultation.