Motorcycle Accidents Typically Result In Serious Injuries
Motorcycle rider safety continues to be a critical issue, given the number of both serious motorcycle accidents as well as those that lead to fatalities. Statistics indicate that motorcycle accidents continue to happen in significant numbers.
As seen in the many Illinois motorcycle accidents summarized on this site, these accidents typically result in a broad range of accident injuries. As well, many result in fatalities either to the motorcyclist and/or passenger.
Motorcyclists are vulnerable to serious injury during an accident due to many factors. Motorcyclists have very little if any “structural” impact protection if they are in a collision. As well, there is no restraint of the motorcyclist. Should the motorcyclist be ejected from the motorcycle – which is common during crashes – injuries will likely be serious if not life-threatening in nature.
One statistic that indicates the higher likelihood of a motorcycle accident resulting in a fatality is seen in the following statistic, seen in the November 20, 2017 MedlinePlus.gov (National Institutes of Health) released “Motorcycle Crashes Far More Deadly Than Car Crashes.” An excerpt, quoting Kara Macek, a spokesperson for the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA):
Macek also agreed that the patterns found in this study would turn up elsewhere. In fact, according to the GHSA, U.S. data show that for every mile driven, motorcycles have a death rate that’s 26 times higher than that of passenger vehicles.
Ways To Avoid Motorcycle Accidents
Given the likely significant injuries that will result from a motorcycle accident, taking preventative measures is of great importance. While, given the wide range of situations that can arise, there is no “guarantee” that a motorcycle accident will not occur even if preventative measures are taken, the following steps will likely reduce the possibility of a motorcyclist being in a crash:
Don’t Ride A Motorcycle After (Or During) Drinking Alcohol
One of the foremost causes of motorcycle accidents is motorcyclists who ride while intoxicated. This has been a longstanding (decades) primary reason for fatal motorcycle accidents. Various aspects of this riding after drinking – including statistics – is discussed on the “Illinois Motorcycle Riding After Drinking” page.
Another statistic is cited on the MedlinePlus.gov article mentioned above:
Alcohol is another issue. Of all U.S. motorcyclists killed in accidents in 2015, 27 percent were intoxicated, according to the GHSA.
Among safety steps mentioned by the GHSA is to not use alcohol before riding; obey the speed limit; and wear a motorcycle helmet.
Don’t Ride A Motorcycle After Taking Drugs
Motorcyclist impairment can also be caused by drug use. These drugs involve those that are illegal as well as from legal drugs. Legal drugs, such as prescription drugs, can cause impairment to occur, especially if the drugs are used in improper dosages or otherwise are not being administered correctly.
There are many mechanical problems that can arise and cause a motorcycle accident. These various mechanical problems are discussed on the “Mechanical Problems On Motorcycles” page. As discussed on that page, many mechanical problems are caused by a lack of proper maintenance. However, other issues such as defective parts or a tire blowout caused by a pothole can also cause mechanical problems that can cause an accident. There have been many Illinois motorcycle accidents – some fatal in nature – that have occurred due to a tire blowout.
Lack Of Visibility
Many motorcycle accidents occur because motorists do not “see” motorcycles. This condition can lead to a collision between the vehicle and the motorcycle. As seen in many Illinois motorcycle accidents summarized on this site, one of the most frequent types of motorcycle crashes continues to be when a vehicle makes a left-hand turn immediately in front of a motorcycle, causing a collision to occur between the vehicle and motorcycle. In such instances the motorists often claim that they failed to see the oncoming motorcycle. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has conducted the “Start Seeing Motorcycles” campaign to highlight the motorcycle visibility issue.
While there are many ways to avoid such a frontal collision (as well as other car-motorcycle collisions), one way to lessen the risk of a motorist not “seeing” an oncoming motorcycle is to increase the visibility of the motorcyclist and/or motorcycle. Two ways to do this is for the motorcycle to have its headlight on at all times, as well as have the motorcyclist wear “high visibility” clothing.
Lack of Riding Skills
Another way to avoid motorcycle accidents is for the motorcyclist to have proper training in safely riding a motorcycle. In Illinois, free motorcycle training courses are offered through the Cycle Rider Safety Training Program (CRSTP).
Riding At An Appropriate Speed
Many motorcycle accidents, including those that are fatal, have riding at an excessive speed as a contributing factor to the crash. Such riding at excessive speed is one of a number of actions that can greatly increase the possibility of a crash. Riding at excessive speeds can cause a number of adverse outcomes, including a (greatly) reduced reaction time as well as a loss of motorcycle control. Other such actions that increase the odds of a crash are discussed on the “High-Risk Motorcyclist Actions” page.
Riding Early In The Motorcycle Season
In Illinois, due to the weather and seasonal changes, most motorcycle riding begins in the March-April period and ends in the October-November period. There are many factors that increase the level of potential hazard to the motorcyclist in the early motorcycle riding season. These factors are further discussed on the “Early-Season Motorcycle Riding Safety Issues” page.
Other Safety Tips
Other safety tips are seen on the “Start Seeing Motorcycles” site on the “Safety Tips for Motorcycles” page. Of note is the tips regarding riding in intersections. As stated on the page, “Intersections are a common crash site for motorcyclists.”
Preventing Serious Accident Injuries
There are many steps one can take to prevent serious accident injuries from occurring should a rider be involved in a collision or crash. Perhaps the greatest injury prevention benefit is to wear a motorcycle helmet. The benefits of such are further discussed on the “Illinois Motorcyclist Safety And Helmet Use” page. Motorcycle helmets can provide significant protection against the possibility of a head injury. Head injuries can range from minor concussions to bleeding on the brain and other serious brain injuries. As seen in many fatal Illinois motorcycle accidents discussed on this site, head injuries can lead to or contribute to a fatality. For those serious head injuries that don’t lead to a fatality, many types of temporary and permanent impairments can occur. Rehabilitation – if such is possible – from a serious brain injury can take a long time period. Traumatic brain injuries are further discussed on the “Head Injuries Resulting From Motorcycle Accidents” page as well as the “Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) And Concussions” page.
Other steps can also be taken, including wearing protective clothing to protect from abrasions and cuts during a fall.
What To Do If Injured In A Motorcycle Accident
There are a number of steps one should take if injured in a motorcycle accident. These steps are needed to protect both one’s health as well as legal rights, including the ability to collect compensation for injuries if the injuries were the fault of another person or party.
Ten steps to take after an accident are discussed on the “10 Steps To Take Following A Motorcycle Accident.” As seen on that page, in order to protect both the medical condition and legal situation these steps should be taken as soon as possible after an accident.
While many of these 10 steps involve legal issues, another issue of great importance is protecting health. While most motorcycle accident injuries will be apparent after an accident, given the complexity of motorcycle accident injuries some may not be obvious in nature. The reasons for this condition are further discussed on the “Reasons For Getting A Medical Exam After A Motorcycle Accident” page. Among the reasons for going to the hospital for a thorough medical exam is that many injuries can best be thoroughly evaluated and properly treated at the emergency room (ER.) Also, for legal reasons, it is highly advisable to have such injuries properly evaluated and documented immediately following the accident.
The Filing Of An Accident Injury Lawsuit
If a person has been hurt during an accident, and the injuries are the fault of another person, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed in order to pursue accident injury compensation. [in the case of a fatal accident, relevant parties can pursue compensation for the loss of life through filing a wrongful death lawsuit.] The lawyers at the Elman Law Group can help you determine whether a lawsuit should be filed, as well as what types of compensation and amounts of compensation may be expected given the specific circumstances of the accident and accompanying injuries.
Types Of Accident Injury Compensation
While levels and types of potential injury compensation vary according to the accident and resulting medical situation, general types of compensation include:
- Medical costs (including past, current and future expenditures)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of function
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Other economic damages
To get a free and confidential initial legal consultation from the Elman Law Group, call Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney, at (773) 392-8182 at any time.
Elman Law Group has been handling Illinois personal injury lawsuits for over 25 years. During this time the firm has handled over 10,000 lawsuits. It has earned a reputation for its trial capabilities, which often results in higher accident compensation for those injured.