The thrill of riding a motorcycle is fabulous. You can sense the wind blowing against your face, enlightening your mind and body. This windy sensation, the open road, and the feeling of control create an unmatched excitement. The agile handling and acceleration boost the adrenaline rush as you feel inextricably linked to the machine. Every twist and turn is joyful, but maintaining this exhilaration is a matter of great importance. Riders should be aware that the pleasure of bike riding comes with inherent risks. They should take appropriate safety measures to mitigate the risks and enjoy their ride. Wearing protective gear, understanding fundamental riding skills, and learning defensive driving techniques are a few ways to ensure motorcycle safety.
Motorcycle riders are more likely to sustain injuries or lose their lives in a fatal driving crash than other motorists. According to the United States Department of Transportation, 5932 motorcyclists died in 2021 in accidents. The figures accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities. If you suffered losses in a motorcycle accident, our Chicago motorcycle accident attorney at Phillips Law Offices is available at your service. We can evaluate your case, determine liability, assess the damage, and help attain fair compensation.
Common reasons for a motorcycle crash
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents result in catastrophic injuries because of the risks faced by riders on the road. Motorcyclists have less protection than people riding in other vehicles, such as cars, SUVs, and delivery trucks. Factors contributing to motorcycle crashes include inattentive drivers, speed, alcohol, road debris, and lack of experience. Let us discuss these factors precisely.
Motorcycle accidents are significantly more likely to occur when people drive too fast. Speeding impairs a rider’s capacity to respond to unforeseen circumstances, such as sudden obstacles or modifications in traffic patterns. It reduces the motorcycle’s stability and control, making safe maneuvers more challenging. Since the impact force during a collision is high, it leads to severe injuries or fatalities. Eventually, riding a motorcycle while speeding puts the rider’s safety at risk and raises the possibility of collisions.
Driving under the influence (DUI) enhances the risk of motorcycle accidents to a great extent. Alcohol or drug use impairs a driver’s ability to drive safely, causing slower reaction times, low concentration, errors in judgment, and decreased coordination. Due to these impairments, it is more difficult for motorists to see and respond to other vehicles on the road. Sometimes, drunk drivers behave erratically, swerving or making abrupt lane changes, endangering motorcycle riders who share the road.
Inclement weather conditions like hail, high wind, severe dust storms, snow, or heavy rainfall can cause road accidents. Motorcycle riders find it difficult to keep control of their vehicles when riding on slick road surfaces, such as wet or icy pavement. Since road users experience poor visibility because of heavy rain, fog, or snow, it raises the risk of collisions. Adverse weather can also reduce traction and affect vehicular functioning.
Road hazards can cause motorcycle accidents in several different ways. An individual riding a motorcycle may crash due to uneven road surfaces like potholes or loose gravel. Or, they may suddenly encounter road debris, such as branches or other fallen objects, and collide. Wet slippery roads can reduce traction and make it difficult to maneuver safely. Inadequate signage or poorly marked construction zones can create confusion and cause accidents. To prevent collisions, motorcyclists must be vigilant and foresee potential road hazards.
Motorcycle riders who lack the necessary skills and knowledge to operate their vehicle are more vulnerable to accidents than experts. They are less likely to predict and respond to other moving vehicles on the road. They may underestimate the speed and functions of motorcycles, leading to misjudgments and collisions. Furthermore, a lack of familiarity with traffic rules and regulations can result in unpredictable or reckless behavior, increasing the risk of motorcycle accidents. Overall, inexperience enhances the potential for errors and poor judgments, making the roads riskier for motorcyclists.
Chicago motorcycle accidents statistics
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) regularly releases reports containing data on motorcycle accidents. These annual crash reports reveal information about accidents, fatalities, injuries, and contributing factors, among other statistics on various aspects of accidents. Accordingly, thousands of people sustain injuries, and many die in motorcycle accidents in Chicago. Injuries from motorcycle accidents account for 70,000 to 80,000 injuries annually. Additionally, there are 4,000 to 5,000 fatal motorcycle accidents each year. Based on the preceding figures and total registered vehicles, the approx risk percentages for motorcycle occupants are as follows:
- Risk of a crash: 15%
- Motor vehicle crashes involving motorcycles: 1.1%
- Fatal crashes: 13.8%
- Injury crashes: 3.9%
- Motorcycle crashes in urban areas: 61%
- Motorcycle crashes in rural areas: 39%
- Accidents in daylight: 57%
- Accidents after sunset: 37%
The statistic emphasizes the need for additional safety measures and regulations surrounding motorcycles. Riding motorbikes are inherently riskier than other types of motor vehicles due to their small size and lack of protection. In an accident, truck or car passengers receive protection from safety features such as airbags, seatbelts, and a metal frame designed to withstand impact. However, this option is not available for motorcycle riders. As a result, motorcycle accident victims often sustain more severe injuries than other drivers. Most people ride motorcycles for exhilaration rather than practicality. Motorcycles are smaller, lightweight, and faster, allowing riders to make quick maneuvers. Riders may feel tempted to engage in reckless behavior if they are unlicensed or have not completed a safety course.
Motorcycle safety measures
Motorcycle riding offers an exhilarating experience but involves substantial risk. Riders should be familiar with these risks and take significant steps to mitigate them. Here are a few tips to follow to ensure a safe ride.
- Wear appropriate safety gear, such as a DOT-approved helmet and protective clothing.
- Undergo proper training and obtain a valid motorcycle license.
- Learn the fundamentals of riding and defensive driving techniques from an expert.
- Keep a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles.
- Check mirrors for oncoming traffic regularly.
- Always adhere to Chicago traffic rules and regulations.
- Ensure that your motorcycle is in good working order.
- Be aware of the weather conditions and adjust your riding style accordingly.
- Never ride a motorcycle while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- Avoid excessive speeding and performing stunts.
- Be conscious of road hazards like potholes, debris, uneven surfaces, and gravel.
- Take advanced riding classes to improve your abilities and knowledge.
Remember, safe riding practices can go a long way in decreasing the risks associated with bike riding. With responsible riding, you can enjoy the exhilaration while minimizing the potential dangers. If you took safety measures but got involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, speak with our legal advisors. They will listen patiently, evaluate your case, and guide you through the best recourse.
Potential injuries from motorcycle crashes
Compared to other forms of transportation, motorcycle riders have minimal protection. They are more susceptible to injuries and fatalities due to the lack of protective barriers. The severity of their injuries varies depending on the role played by the other driver, the motorcycle’s speed, road conditions, the wearing of safety gear, and the overall impact of the collision. Here are some common injuries sustained in motorcycle crashes:
Due to the vulnerability of riders, motorcycle accidents often lead to broken bones ranging from hairline fractures to more complex breaks. The impact and force in such accidents can cause fractures of the limbs, ribs, collarbones, pelvis, or spine. Wrist and ankle fractures are also common because of the instinctive reaction to protect the body by extending the arms or bracing the legs. Most bone injuries necessitate medical intervention, such as casting, grafting, or rehabilitation, to ensure proper healing and recovery.
When a motorcycle crashes and slides or skids along the road surface, the friction causes abrasions and burns on the skin, known as road rashes. Depending on the speed and severity of the accident, these injuries can range from minor scrapes to deep wounds. These rashes frequently necessitate immediate medical attention because they can cause infection and scarring. Wearing proper protective gear, such as jackets, helmets, and pants, can reduce the risk of such injuries in motorcycle accidents.
Head injuries are a significant concern in motorcycle accidents because riders without safety gear are susceptible to rotational forces and direct impacts. Even if wearing helmets, they are prone to concussions, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injuries in crashes. The severity of head injuries often worsens by the high speeds in motorcycle accidents. Whether mild or severe, prompt medical care is necessary to diagnose and treat head injuries. These injuries could have long-lasting and irreversible effects on a person’s physical, cognitive, and emotional health.
Spinal cord injuries
Motorcycle accidents result in spinal cord injuries that have intense and long-lasting repercussions. It can cause partial or total loss of sensation and a dysfunctional motor system near the affected area. Some injuries require immediate medical aid, while many necessitate extensive rehabilitation and lifelong care. One can prevent spinal cord injuries from motorcycle accidents by taking preventative measures like wearing safety equipment, obeying traffic laws, and using safe riding techniques.
Riders of motorcycles may suffer internal injuries in accidents. For instance, vital organs like the lungs, liver, spleen, or heart can sustain trauma from the impact of a collision, which can cause internal bleeding or organ rupture. Pelvic bone fracture, spinal cord injuries, or brain damage can also affect the internal structure and cause long-term disabilities or death. Hence, timely medical care is essential to diagnose and treat internal injuries caused by motorcycle accidents.
People involved in motorcycle accidents may suffer significant psychological harm. For instance, they may have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, or other psychological conditions due to the traumatic accident. The possibility of suffering catastrophic injuries or witnessing others suffer harm can be overwhelming. The accident may cause survivors to develop a fear of riding motorcycles or cause them to have flashbacks and nightmares. Psychological therapy and counseling are vital to address these problems and enable victims to heal and regain their emotional health.
Legal assistance after being involved in a motorcycle accident
Dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle crash can be overwhelming in Chicago. Following the accident, you must take several steps, including seeking medical attention, reporting to the police, notifying the insurance company, and gathering evidence. Preserve all documents you collect from different sources because they are valuable for insurance claims and legal proceedings. To ease the rigorous legal process, consult our motorcycle accident attorney at Phillips Law Offices. We have a proven track record of handling such conditions in Chicago. From determining liability to negotiating with insurance companies or filing a lawsuit, we can help present a compelling case. We work diligently to ensure you receive compensation covering your economic and non-economic damage. For details, visit our website or call us at (312) 598-0917.