Although taking to the road is an enjoyable experience, it can be extremely dangerous. Fortunately, motorcycles are equipped with a variety of tools necessary to avoid a collision including excellent handling, clear views without obstruction, powerful brakes and tires that grip. However, when other motorists are driving inattentively, or weather conditions make roadways slippery, motorcycle accidents do happen.
Even though motorcycle accidents happen less frequently than automobile and commercial truck accidents, they tend to result in death or serious injury. Below are the most common types of motorcycle accidents.
Vehicle accident collisions involving motorcycles account for more than half of all deaths while riding a motorcycle. In the majority of these kinds of motorcycle accidents, cars often strike motorcyclists from the front. Unfortunately, most head-on collisions involving a motorcycle and another vehicle result in death of the rider.
Left-Hand Turn Accidents
In nearly 40 percent of all motorcycle accidents, other vehicles strike the motorcyclists under certain conditions, including:
- When the motorcyclist is passing a vehicle
- When the motorcyclist is traveling straight through an intersection
- When the motorcycle is attempting to overtake a vehicle
The cycle’s smaller size often makes it less visible to other drivers in a turning vehicle. In addition, motorcyclists passing cars and other vehicles in the same lane tend to be more vulnerable to an accident. This is because other motorists are often surprised by, or did not expect, the maneuver of the motorcycle.
Some motorcyclists are hurt in accidents where they split the lane, or drive between two lanes of slowly moving or stopped vehicles (typically in traffic jams). Accidents often occur when splitting lanes for a variety of factors that include:
- The distance between vehicles is narrow, making it harder for the motorcycle to maneuver
- The motorcycle’s close proximity to other vehicles, while moving, increases the potential of an accident
- Other motorists do not anticipate a motorcycle passing their vehicle in stopped or slowed traffic
Excessive Speed & Alcohol Use
Approximately 50 percent of all motorcycle accidents involve alcohol use or excessive speed. While this statistic is approximately the same as passenger vehicle and commercial truck accidents, the injuries tend to be more significant. This is because the motorcycle provides little protection to passengers and the motorcyclists, so crashes tend to result in serious injury or death.
Hitting Fixed Objects
Approximately one out of every four motorcyclist deaths involve a collision with fixed objects. This is because the rider will likely be thrown from the bike, hitting the object hard. The fatality is even more likely if the motorcyclist is not wearing a helmet and protective clothing.
Out of all the types of motorcycle accidents, those involving road hazards are high. This is because of the substantial dangers when motorcyclists travel on slick pavement, hitting potholes, changing lanes with uneven heights and colliding with unexpected objects/dead animals in the roadway.
Oddly enough, accidents involving high-performance motorcycles comprise just a tiny portion of all motorcycle accidents each year. Even so, sport and supersport motorcycles have the ability to travel at excessive speeds, usually greater than 140 miles per hour. Riders involved in an accident on supersport motorcycles have a death rate four times greater than when riding on a conventional motorcycle, such as a touring, standard or cruiser bike.
Determining fault or responsibility in a motorcycle accident is often challenging. Because of that, finding fault requires the skills of an experienced personal injury attorney that can investigate the crash. Establishing a cause of the collision can identify all responsible parties, and provide the opportunity for the injured victim to file a claim or lawsuit for financial compensation.
Responsibility in Illinois motorcycle accidents are usually placed on parties other than the motorcyclist. These other parties can include the bike manufacturer, government road maintenance, or other motorists. A reputable lawyer skilled in personal injury cases involving motorcycle accidents will evaluate the merits of the claim to determine the best legal remedies for fair compensation.