Illinois’ Secretary of State reported that as of 2020, there are 300,000 registered motorcyclists currently on the roadways, and this number is expected to rise each year. Chances are, you or someone you know has been impacted firsthand by a motorcycle accident or has heard of at least one incident of fatality due to a collision. With the ongoing increase of motorcyclists out and about and the significant number of accidents that take place each year — over 2,000 injuries reported in 2018 — it pays to take a look at some of the major reasons motorcyclists face such danger on Illinois roadways.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
There are countless reasons motorcyclists fall victim to collision and injury, including the reckless or negligent actions of vehicle or truck drivers. Some of the most common causes of crashes include:
Distracted and aggressive driving: While this is undoubtedly an obvious threat to everyone on the roadways, various forms of distracted driving, such as texting behind the wheel or driving while fatigued or intoxicated as well as aggressive behaviors, like speeding and tailgating, can be particularly catastrophic for motorcyclists who are naturally at a greater disadvantage when it comes to being seen. Motorcyclists must make a greater effort and work harder than other motorists to ensure they are visible, and a reckless or distracted driver is much less likely to pay attention to others around them, especially motorcyclists.
Misjudging distance and speed: After a crash, automobile or truck drivers typically report that they never saw the motorcycle. While it is true that a bike’s outline is thinner and its silhouette is harder to see than a car’s outline due to blind spots and certain traffic patterns, many times drivers do not see the motorcycle simply because they are not looking for one. They may be focused only on the cars around them or the surrounding scenery. Even when drivers do spot motorcyclists, they often misjudge their distance and their speed. For example, drivers regularly think that there is more space between their vehicle and a motorcyclist because smaller vehicles like bikes appear to be farther away than they actually are. They also seem to be moving at a slower speed, when in reality, they are moving much faster.
Missed signals: It is not uncommon for vehicle drivers to miss a motorcyclist’s signals, even when the biker uses signals correctly and consistently. Drivers are required to give motorcyclists room, especially in the midst of lane changes, turns, and merging. For this simple reason alone, it is suggested that bikers double up on the visibility scale by taking extra precautions like wearing bright, reflective clothing and light-colored helmets. Most motorcycle crashes happen in broad daylight; if a driver does not see a biker’s signals, he or she might at least take notice of the biker due to bright apparel.
Contact a Palatine Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcyclists may be at a disadvantage compared to other drivers, but they are entitled to the same rights and are upheld by the same laws as other motorists on Illinois roadways. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to another driver’s negligence, it is critical to consult a seasoned, knowledgeable Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer right away to ensure your best interests are protected following the collision. Newland & Newland LLP is prepared to fight for your rights and help you pursue any compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us today at 847-797-8000 to schedule your free consultation.