Reasons For Motorcycle Accident Ejections
As seen in many posts on this site that summarize Illinois motorcycle accidents, accidents that involve the motorcyclist being ejected (i.e. being thrown from the motorcycle during a crash) have resulted in many serious accident injuries. Many of these injuries have led to fatal Illinois motorcycle accidents.
There are many reasons why motorcyclists are vulnerable to being ejected. Many of these reasons have to do with both physics as well as the fact that motorcycles do not physically enclose or restrain the rider.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) page titled “The Anatomy of a Motorcycle Crash” discusses various dynamics of a motorcycle crash, as well as the injury implications for motorcyclists. Notable excerpts include:
More than 80 percent of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist. The motorcycle itself provides no head injury protection to the rider or passenger. Ejection from the motorcycle is a common injury pathway. If a motorcycle comes to a sudden stop and the rider is ejected from the motorcycle, the rider will forcibly strike objects in the path as well as the ground.
Illinois Motorcycle Crashes Involving Ejections
As previously mentioned, there have been many Illinois motorcycle accidents summarized on this site that have involved the motorcyclist being thrown from the bike during the accident. In just the August 2016- February 2017 time period alone, fatal bike accidents involving ejections have included those that happened on:
- February 22, 2017 – in Hanover Park
- February 19, 2017 – in Wadsworth
- October 28, 2016 – in Mattoon
- October 17, 2016 – in Jersey County
- August 25, 2016 – in Peoria
- August 23, 2016 – in Streamwood
- August 12, 2016 – in Libertyville
- August 11, 2016 – in Geneva
Non-fatal crashes occurred on:
- February 20, 2017 – in Streamwood
- February 17, 2017 – in Washington County (I-64)
- November 24, 2016 – in Naperville
- November 14, 2016 – in Grundy County
- October 24, 2016 – in unincorporated Woodstock
- September 6, 2016 – in Jackson County
- August 4, 2016 – in Rochelle
A significant portion of the above crashes involved motorcycle loss of control. During these types of crashes, motorcyclists may be likely to be ejected as such crashes are often unexpected, and the resulting accident can involve many unnatural and strong physical forces.
Ways To Avoid Accidents Involving Ejections
As mentioned above, by their nature, motorcycle accidents are likely to result in the rider being thrown from the bike during accidents and/or other incidents involving a sudden deceleration.
Ways in general to avoid motorcycle accidents are numerous. While there is no “guaranteed” steps one can take to avoid motorcycle crashes and the accompanying accident injuries, below are safety recommendations riders can consider taking.
Wearing A Motorcycle Helmet
There are many safety benefits of wearing a helmet. These safety benefits are discussed on this site’s “Illinois Motorcyclist Safety And Helmet Use” page. Perhaps the most important benefit of wearing a motorcycle helmet is the reduction in the possibility of having a traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting from a motorcycle crash.
The NHTSA page mentioned above also mentions motorcycle helmet use. As seen on that page:
The helmet at work. The single most important safety device a motorcyclist can have is a helmet. Motorcycle helmets have a hard outer shell that distributes the force of an impact to protect the skull and prevents objects from piercing it. The crushable inner liner limits the force of impacts by absorbing a portion of the energy that would otherwise reach the head and brain. As the helmet does its job, the number and severity of head injuries are significantly reduced.
Another NHTSA page concerning motorcycle safety discusses the importance of the type and certification of helmets. As seen on this Motorcycles page:
If you’re ever in a serious motorcycle crash, the best hope you have for protecting your brain is a motorcycle helmet. Always wear a helmet meeting the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Look for the DOT symbol on the outside back of the helmet. That is the manufacturer’s way of certifying the helmet meets the DOT standard. A certified helmet also will have a permanent inside label identifying the manufacturer and providing information about the care and use of the helmet. Helmets meeting FMVSS 218 weigh around three pounds; have a thick polystyrene-foam lining; and sturdy chinstraps. ANSI or Snell labels are voluntary indicators of helmet quality. Don’t leave your helmet behind on short trips because it could be a deadly mistake. Some motorcycle helmets, in addition to offering protection to your head in a crash, include plastic face shields that offer protection from wind, rain, insects, dust, and stones thrown up from cars. If your helmet doesn’t have a face shield, be sure you wear goggles because eyeglasses won’t keep your eyes from watering, and can easily fall off.
Also discussed on that page is other protection that motorcyclists should wear. An excerpt:
Arms and legs should be completely covered when riding a motorcycle, ideally by wearing leather or heavy denim. In addition to providing protection in a crash, protective gear also helps prevent dehydration. Boots or shoes should be high enough to cover your ankles, while gloves allow for a better grip and help protect your hands in the event of a crash. Wearing brightly colored clothing with reflective material will make you more visible to other vehicle drivers.
There are many aspects of motorcycle maintenance that are important. Proper motorcycle maintenance can greatly reduce the possibility of a motorcycle crash that is caused by a mechanical failure or maintenance-related factor. These mechanical failures, as well as various Illinois accidents that are related to mechanical failures, are discussed on the “Mechanical Problems On Motorcycles” page.
One of the best ways to avoid having a mechanical problem while riding is to conduct proper motorcycle maintenance. On this site, motorcycle maintenance is discussed on the Illinois Motorcycle Maintenance page.
The NHTSA “Motorcycles” page mentioned above offers this maintenance-related advice:
Before every ride, you should check the tire pressure and tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights and signal indicators, and fluid levels. You should also check under the motorcycle for signs of oil or gas leaks. If you’re carrying cargo, you should secure and balance the load on the cycle; and adjust the suspension and tire pressure to accommodate the extra weight.
High-Risk Motorcycle Riding
While many motorcycle rider ejections do not happen after risky or careless riding, some do. There are many types of riding that is considered high-risk; perhaps the most common type of risk is high-speed riding. Many of today’s bikes can easily reach speeds over 100 mph, and in some cases 150 mph. Such speeds can be reached in a short period of time. However, such high speeds create many challenges with regard to bike instability, greatly reduced reaction time, and (greatly) extended time periods needed to reduce speed or come to a complete stop. Many aspects of high-risk motorcycle riding is further discussed on the “High-Risk Motorcyclist Actions” page.
Motorcycle Loss Of Control Accidents
Many recent Illinois motorcycle accidents have involved a loss of motorcycle control. As seen in these crashes, loss of control can occur for many different reasons. Many bike crashes caused by loss of control have led to the motorcyclist (and in some cases passenger) being fatally injured. Many aspects of loss of control accidents are discussed on the “Motorcycle Loss Of Control Accidents” page.
Early-Season Motorcycle Crashes
There are many reasons why early-season motorcycle riding can be more hazardous than that done later in the year. In Illinois, such early-season riding typically occurs when the weather gets warmer, which depends upon the region. As such, for the Chicago area such early-season riding can typically occur as early as April, whereas in Southern Illinois it may begin slightly earlier. The reasons that early-season riding can be more dangerous is further discussed on the “Early-Season Motorcycle Riding Safety Issues” page.
Other Safety-Enhancing Measures
There are many other safety measures that can be taken to increase the likelihood of safe riding. These include taking motorcycle riding classes and other training measures. These are listed on the “Motorcycle Safety Resources” page.
Should You Be Injured In A Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents can cause a range of injuries that vary in severity and effect. As seen on this site, such bike crash injuries have often been serious in nature – and in some cases have been either life-threatening or fatal.
Should you be injured in such a crash, there are steps you should take to protect both your health as well as your legal rights. These rights include your ability to collect injury compensation if the accident was the fault of another person or entity. Please see the “10 Steps To Take Following A Motorcycle Accident” page.
As seen on that page, should you be hurt in an accident, it is recommended that you get a comprehensive medical exam. This recommendation is based upon many health and legal reasons. Aside from obvious injuries that need medical treatment, there have been many accidents after which someone is seriously injured but is not aware of such injuries for some time after the accident…i.e. some accident injury symptoms are what some refer to as “delayed onset.” A thorough medical examination can check for accident injuries that have occurred but may not yet be obvious. Depending upon the injury, a delay in proper health care treatment can become life-threatening if not fatal. Serious injuries with symptoms that may not be apparent for a considerable time period include internal bleeding as well as concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
From a legal perspective, it is highly recommended that you speak with an Illinois personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident injury. While many people who have been recently injured in an accident may find this to be inconvenient – or may otherwise want to delay such a conversation – there are various steps you should quickly take to protect your legal rights and to otherwise help you attain compensation for your accident injuries and other harm that may have occurred. The personal injury lawyer can determine if the filing of a personal injury lawsuit is appropriate. The lawyer can also answer your questions, such as tell you what the statute of limitations is with regard to the applicable type of accident lawsuit. [For those who represent a person who has died due to an accident, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be warranted.]
Contacting The Elman Law Group
If you were injured in an accident, call Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney at the Elman Law Group, at (773) 392-8182 to discuss the accident and see what legal actions – including the filing of a lawsuit – may be appropriate. This discussion is provided free of charge and is confidential in nature.
Elman Law Group, LLC has been handling Illinois personal injury cases for 25+ years, and during this time has handled over 10,000 personal injury cases. Through this extensive experience, the Elman Law Group has built a reputation for its court trial performance. As seen in many of its cases, this successful trial experience may (substantially) increase potential accident injury compensation.
Elman Law Group, LLC handles cases on a “contingency” basis…clients are not charged legal fees unless and until they get money.