Motorist Impairment And The Threat To Motorcyclists

Motorist Impairment As A Threat To Motorcycle Riders

Motorist impairment poses a significant risk to motorcyclists and their passengers. As seen in many Illinois motorcycle accidents that have been summarized on this site, one of the foremost risks to motorcyclists is when there are impaired drivers on the road.

Perhaps the main overall reason that motorists hit motorcycles is that the drivers fail to see motorcycles. This often is the stated reason why a driver makes a left-hand turn immediately in the path of an oncoming motorcycle. When this occurs a collision between the vehicle and the motorcycle often occurs. As seen in many Illinois motorcycle collisions, this type of collision often leads to the motorcycle rider suffering serious if not fatal accident injuries.

If the motorist is driving while impaired, it is likely that the driver will be even less likely to see motorcycles. While there are many reasons for motorist impairment, among the most common is that the driver has been drinking alcohol; the driver has been taking drugs; or the driver has been using inhalants in order to “get high.” Each of these three types of impairments are further discussed below.

Drunk Drivers And The Threat To Bike Riders

Drunk drivers have posed a threat to other road users for many decades. The threat posed to those who ride motorcycles is particularly high. Due to the inebriation of people who drive after consuming higher amounts of alcohol, these drivers are (far) less likely to be able to safely operate their vehicle around motorcycles. As a result, many types of collisions can occur. As noted above, one of the most common types of serious accidents occurs when a driver makes a sudden left-hand turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle. However, there are many other incidents that can occur when a driver is impaired by alcohol. For instance, a drunk driver can suddenly make a right-hand turn into the path of a motorcycle. By pulling out in front of the motorcycle rider, there is potential for a collision. This type of motorcycle accident has been seen in Illinois.

Drunk drivers can also be more prone to cross the center line and in doing so collide with oncoming traffic. These types of head-on collisions have occurred in Illinois and have led to various rider fatalities.

Drug-Impaired Drivers And The Threat To Riders

Drivers impaired by drug use has been increasing significantly in recent years. These drug-impaired drivers pose a substantial threat to other road users. There have been many serious accidents caused by these motorists driving while “high” on drugs.

The Danger To Motorcyclists Presented By Drugged Drivers” page discusses motorist impairment due to drug use and the threat this poses to motorcyclists. As discussed on that page, drug use can have many different types of adverse impacts on a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. The level of impairment can vary significantly due to various factors. While there are many drugs that have been used by “drugged drivers,” among the most common are marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and meth. There can be actions taken to increase the level of impairment caused by drug use. Among the actions are if two or more drugs are taken at the same time (referred to as “mixed drug use”) and/or if alcohol is consumed with the drug usage.

Marijuana use before driving is especially notable. Illinois has recently legalized marijuana usage on a recreational basis. As such, its overall use may be increasing as it is easier to obtain legally. Marijuana use leading to driver impairment is discussed on the “Marijuana Use By Drivers And The Potential For Motorcycle Accidents” page.

Inhalants As A Reason For Driver Impairment

Inhalants are household and industrial chemicals whose vapors can be breathed in through the nose or mouth to produce a “high” (i.e. intoxication.) This product use is not intended by the manufacturer. There is a broad list of products that can be used as inhalants. Among those products are glues; paint removers; contact cement; whipped-cream aerosol cans; and helium balloons.

As mentioned above, the vapors or fumes from these products are breathed in through the nose or mouth. Depending upon the product and method used, this breathing in is called huffing, sniffing, bagging or snorting. When people inhale through the mouth it is usually referred to as huffing. Other methods breathe in the vapor through the nose.

Depending on the product and inhalation method used, these inhalants can cause the user to experience various effects. While the intent is to “get high” – i.e. achieve a feeling of euphoria – there are also other physical and mental impacts. These other physical and mental impacts include a loss of physical coordination; light-headedness; dizziness; and drowsiness.

As well, the person may experience hallucinations and delusions. There is the possibility of an overdose as well as sudden heart failure.

There have been many notable vehicle accidents involving those that had been huffing or otherwise been using inhalants. For example, a fatal pedestrian accident occurred in Highland Park in September 2012, in which a driver who had allegedly been huffing drove onto a nearby sidewalk. In doing so she struck a family that was walking. One girl suffered fatal accident injuries and other family members were seriously injured.

On December 18, 2020 a St. Louis pedestrian accident occurred in which the driver allegedly had been huffing before the accident. In this crash the driver lost control of the car and drove onto a sidewalk, fatally striking a person walking.

Getting Monetary Compensation For Accident Injuries

Those who have been injured due to the fault of another person – such as motorist impairment – may be able to get injury compensation. This injury compensation is often desired as medical bills and other financial burdens caused by the accident can be substantial.

Compensation can be pursued for many consequences that have arisen because of the accident injuries. Among the types of compensation are those for past, present, and future medical bills; ambulance charges; lost wages due to the temporary or permanent inability to work; and pain and suffering.

The amount of compensation that may be achieved depends on many different factors, including the types and severities of the injuries and whether an injury is considered to cause a permanent impairment. These permanent impairments can be physical or cognitive in nature.

The Elman Joseph Law Group Can Help You Achieve Compensation

The Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC is a personal injury law firm based in Chicago. It has been helping its clients get injury compensation through personal injury lawsuits for over 25 years. The firm also handles wrongful death lawsuits.

The Elman Joseph Law Group has developed a reputation – and awards – for its court trial experience. This experience has resulted in many clients receiving considerably more compensation than if the settlement offer was accepted. Some of the more notable settlements and court verdicts are seen on the “Illinois Personal Injury Case Results And Litigation Capabilities” page.

The Elman Joseph Law Group offers a free initial legal consultation to those who have been injured. Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney of the Elman Joseph Law Group, can be reached any time at 773-392-8182…or by email at [email protected]

Elman Joseph Law Group handles all personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency basis…clients don’t pay a fee unless and until they receive money.