Motorcycle accidents are typically catastrophic for the rider and passenger. This site provides valuable resources to ride safe and stay safe on Illinois roadways, and steps to take when injured in a serious motorcycle event.
Motorcycle accidents are often the most devastating event of any rider’s life. The extensive resources listed below can help protect the rights of those injured while riding the open roadways of Northeast Illinois and the Chicago Metropolitan area. The following links provide statistical data on Illinois and national motorcycle accidents along with what to do to handle the medical and legal issues involved in your crash.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – This site lists data on crash-related motorcycle accidents in the U.S., along with motorcyclist deaths listed by state. The data also includes statistics and nonfatal injuries categorized by body part injuries such as head/neck, upper/lower trunk, arms and hands, legs and feet and others.
Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) – This site provides a variety of downloadable PDF files, outlining statistics managed by the GHSA, including motorcycle fatalities listed by state. In addition, the webpages provide recommendations on lowering numbers of motorcycle accident-related injuries and fatalities including increasing helmet use, reducing alcohol impairment, reducing speed, proper licensing, and learning the rules of the road.
Insurance Information Institute (III) – This website lists key facts concerning motorcycle riding and associated accidents across the United States, including Illinois. The data involves gathered information from the GHSA (Governors Highway Safety Association), NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), FHA (Federal Highway Administration) and more. The site also lists the number of crashes occurring in the United States in 2012, and the percentage of injuries and fatalities involved.
Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) – Click the link here for current and past crash statistics and facts including motorcycle accident, crash trends in the state, and holiday numbers involving accidents on Illinois highways. Information on the site dates back to 1997.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) – This FAQ site managed by the Highway Loss Data Institute answers many common questions about motorcycles, accidents, and death rates. In addition, it outlines state motorcycle laws, including Illinois, along with legislative and regulatory policies.
Illinois Helmet Laws
CDC Illinois Motor Vehicle Safety – This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website outlines the total costs involved in saving money and lives wearing helmets while riding motorcycles. In addition, the site provides information of a national perspective along with quick facts about helmet use and universal helmet laws.
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) – This website managed by the NHTSA outlines lower extremity injuries caused by motorcycle crashes in the US. It also provides statistics on motorcycle injuries and fatalities, and the current trends of motorcycle crashes. It details different lower extremity injuries including injury to the foot, ankle, leg, knee, thigh, hip and pelvic region. There is also statistical data on hospital charges and motorcycle crash characteristics.
Cyber Drive Illinois – This website managed by the Illinois Secretary of State provides a downloadable Illinois motorcycle operator manual, outlining an overview of motorcycle classifications, licensing, permits, and motorcycle traffic laws throughout the state. It details crash avoidance recommendations when cornering, turning and making quick stops. It also offers detailed information on carrying cargo and passengers, group writing, and avoiding obstacles including flying objects and animals on the roadway.
Illinois General Assembly – This link will redirect you to amendments to the Illinois vehicle code concerning motorcycles and red lights. The law was amended to provide a right to proceed at a malfunctioning red light once the motorcyclist, or bicyclist, yields right-of-way to any oncoming traffic traveling with a green light. This corrects many issues where the traffic signal fails to detect any arriving cycle due to its weight or size.
The Chicago Tribune – Click this link to read a 2010 editorial making the case against Illinois motorcycle helmet laws, and how the lack of the law does not really pose a danger to the public at large. The author justifies the lack of a current motorcycle helmet law by supporting fewer regulations, the freedom of personal autonomy, and NTSB statistics.
CDC Motorcycle Helmet Law Study – This page outlines a study concerning motorcycle helmet laws conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012. Making the case for stronger universal helmet laws, the CDC provides details on the total cost of damages and injuries to the increasing use of motorcyclists and passengers wearing helmets.
Reducing Public Payout with Universal Helmet Laws – This downloadable website managed by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration outlines ways to reduce cost to society by mandating universal motorcycle helmet laws. This question-and-answer webpage discusses insurance costs, economic and lifesaving potentials, and the additional cost Illinois could save by implementing a helmet use law.
Other Motorcycle Safety-Related Site
DuPage County Bar Association – This article in the Journal of the DuPage County Bar Association outlines new legislation to make transportation safer through Illinois law. It outlines how Illinois legislators have failed to recognize issues involving child motorcycle passengers on Illinois roadways. In addition, it covers the lack of an Illinois helmet law and the increased number of injuries and fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents.
Most motorcycle accidents on Illinois roadways involve injuries and fatalities. They are usually caused by the negligent action of other motorists not paying attention or disobeying the Illinois rules of the road. National and statewide statistics indicate that two out of every three motorcycle accidents are directly caused by other motorists failing to yield to the motorcyclist’s right-of-way.
Other factors causing motorcycle accidents in Northeast Illinois and the Chicago Metropolitan area involve adverse weather conditions, excessive gravel, railway tracks, debris, puddles, uneven pavement, potholes and oil slicks. Other times, motorcyclists are at the mercy of the motorcycle manufacturer, or replacement parts maker, when the bike begins to wobble or shake at high speeds. In any event, the motorcyclist should take every step possible to gather evidence from the scene of the accident and speak to a competent, aggressive attorney that specializes in motor vehicle collisions.