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Articles Tagged with motorcycle accidents

car-accident-1660670_1920-300x300As Illinois moves into phase 3 of COVID-19 reopening, traffic is making a big comeback. You may have noticed that the roads are more crowded, the parking lots are a bit fuller, and the expressways feel more like they did in January and February.

If you’ve noticed an uptick in traffic, you’re not alone. Congestion, higher travel times, and traffic crashes are on the rise as Illinois resumes activities under phase 3 of the Illinois reopening plan.

After the state-wide stay-at-home order took effect in mid-March, weekly traffic volume in Chicago was cut in half. As of last week, traffic was back to 77% of 2019 levels, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Keep Motorcyclists-Safe.jpgNow that the warm, summer weather is here, more and more people are on the roads, taking a ride on their motorcycles. However, this enjoyable summer pastime is not without danger.

Because motorcycles are less stable and visible than cars or trucks, they are-unfortunately–more likely to be involved in a crash. And when motorcycles crash, riders are more likely to be injured or killed. In fact, the federal government estimates that per miles traveled, motorcycles are 29 times more likely to be involved in a fatal traffic accident than a car. According to the NHTSA, 5,286 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2016 alone.

Because of their lack of protection, motorcyclists are also more likely to be severely injured in a crash. At The Collins Law Firm, we see first-hand the devastation that these motorcycle accidents can cause. We are currently representing a man who was seriously injured when his motorcycle was struck by a pickup truck.

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It is, of course, not “news” that riding a motorcycle is dangerous. The latest statistics (as of 2015) published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) help us understand why:

(1) It’s much more dangerous than riding in a car. NHTSA says that motorcyclists were 29 times more likely than car occupants to die in a crash.

(2) Wearing a helmet can save your life. 40% of motorcyclists killed in crashes were not wearing a helmet. Unbelievably, only 19 states require all motorcyclists to wear helmets, while three states-Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire-have no helmet use laws at all.

locomotive-2314904_1920.jpgConsumer Reports gives us the grim statistics: a motorcyclist is 30 times more likely to die in a crash than someone riding in a car.

But lurking just below these statistics is the proof that, if they will make just a few changes, motorcyclists will dramatically reduce their chance of serious injury, or worse, while riding. Consumer Reports notes, for example, that a huge percentage of motorcycle fatalities involve speeding (48%) or alcohol (42%). So, simply not speeding or drinking alcohol makes an enormous and positive difference in safety.

Here are some other things to do to make riding significantly safer:

After a fairly dreary spring here in Chicagoland, the weather has turned, and we can all enjoy the outdoors. For many people this also means it is time to dust of the motorcycles and head out for a bike ride. Whether you choose to ride a motorcycle or not, if you are on the roads you need to be aware that motorcycles are out there. Many motorcycle accidents that occur are the result of operators of cars not seeing a bike on the road. Hence the slogan, “Start Seeing Motorcycles” which has become popular. The negligence of other motorists causes numerous crashes which cause motorcycle injuries. Motorcyclists need to do their part too, not only keeping a lookout for the very motorists who do not see them, but also making it easy to been seen by others. As taught in many basic rider courses, motorcyclists should shy away from all-black outfits, dark riding gear, and even dark-colored bikes. Retro-reflective accents, bright jackets, and easy to see helmets can all literally save your life on a motorcycle as they can help make you visible to another driver on the road who otherwise might not see you. But, while it is very difficult to prevent the negligence of another driver on the road, there is one thing that every motorcycle rider can do to help prevent serious personal injury while riding a bike: wear a helmet. While Illinois does not require helmets (nor do 30 other states, when it comes to adult riders) wearing a properly fitting helmet is the single best step you can take with your gear to save your life if a motorcycle accident should occur. Personal injury attorneys encounter motorcycle accidents all the time, and one of the first questions an injury attorney will ask a rider involved in a motorcycle crash is: “were you wearing a helmet?” Sadly, if the victim is unable to answer due to catastrophic injury, or death, the attorney usually already knows the answer. Be safe on the roads, and be mindful of motorcycles, whether you ride or not. If you do ride a motorcycle and are injured in a crash, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible so you can be informed about what your rights are, and how to handle any claims you may have. For all you riders out there, enjoy the riding season, and safe travels.

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