Motorcycles have a long history on America’s roadways and have earned a cult-like status among social and professional groups. The expanding use of these vehicles alongside automobiles and other vehicles increases the chance of accidents, especially in dense urban areas. In fact, motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to be involved in an accident than an automobile and they are more likely to experience injury in connection to those accidents. Each state has laws regulating motorcyclist behavior. It is best to check the laws of that state before engaging on their roadways.

What causes motorcycle accidents?

These accidents can be caused like any other accident involving a vehicle. In most instances, nearly three out of four accidents with a motorcycle involved one being hit from the front. The main reason for such accidents is that passenger vehicle did not see the motorcycle as the vehicle attempted to turn left when the motorcycle was going straight, or when the motorcycle was attempting to pass or overtake a vehicle.

Alcohol use is a major contributing factor to such accidents, and they are more likely than vehicles to be involved in a fatal accident. One study found that half of all motorcycle fatalities involved the use of alcohol.

New riders should be especially careful and be familiar with the roads because a high rate of accidents occur with this group who have owned their bike for less than five months.

What causes motorcycle injuries?

The largest factor contributing to fatalities is too little protection by the driver when accidents occur. Helmets can be an invaluable safety tool and can be the determining factor between an accident and a fatality. A motorcyclist without a helmet is forty percent more likely to die from head injuries than one with a helmet. Other common causes of accidents include roadway conditions, the condition of the motorcycle, and negligence by the driver.

As with all other vehicles, maintaining a proper distance between a car and a motorcycle is imperative to avoid an accident.

In Illinois, laws aim to increase the lives of these motorists. Motorcycle drivers in Illinois must obey all traffic signs and signals and are essentially treated as an automobile for the class M licenses. They must take a separate test and follow specific procedures to be licensed. Behaviors such as lane splitting are outlawed. Daytime headlights are required and the motorcycle is expected to be equipped with specific features in order to be in compliance with the law. It is best to check online the specific requirements before purchasing one in Illinois.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Your case may be different. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you were injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, please call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529.