An Illinois motorcycle crash is usually not a minor accident because of the vulnerability involving in riding an exposed vehicle like a motorcycle. The lack of a protective barrier between a motorcycle and other vehicles or objects puts a rider at great risk of being seriously injured or killed.
There are some common causes of motorcycle accidents that can lead to a crash. The most common cause of a motorcycle accident is other drivers in vehicles not seeing the motorcycle.
Sometimes drivers in other vehicles don’t see motorcycles because they don’t give the same thought to motorcycles in sharing the road as they do to larger vehicles. Other times it is because a motorcycle can be difficult to see, for instance, during poor weather conditions or at night.
Some reports indicate that in almost two thirds of motorcycle accidents where another vehicle is involved, there is not a right of way given to the motorcycle. Sometimes vehicles will turn into the lane of a motorcycle, cutting them off. This can result in devastating consequences.
A motorcyclist is 27 times more likely to die in a crash involving another vehicle, as compared to passengers of that other vehicle. They are also 5 times more likely to be injured. Clearly a motorcyclist is at a disadvantage. Crashes involving a motorcycle and vehicle can potentially lead to a tragic outcome.
Other Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are other common causes of motorcycle accidents. Some of these include:
- Inexperienced motorcyclist
- Excessive speeding
- Driver inattention
- Aggressive driving
- Poor road conditions
- Use of alcohol
Auto accidents are more common than motorcycle accidents, but that’s far from the only difference between the two types of crashes. In fact, motorcycle accidents differ from other types of collisions in many different ways. That’s why it’s important to hire a qualified Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer if you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit as the result of a motorcycle crash.
For one thing, the most common causes of motorcycle-car accidents center around a drivers’ inability to see a motorcycle on the roadway. In fact, reports indicate that as many as two out of three accidents involving a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle involve the driver of the four-wheeled vehicle turning or moving into a lane where a motorcycle is present and hindering the right-of-way of the motorcyclist.
Some of these scenarios include:
- a car changing lanes into a spot already occupied by a motorcyclist
- an SUV turning left across traffic but failing to notice the oncoming motorcycle
- an 18-wheeler making a right turn onto a sidestreet but swinging too wide and striking a motorcycle that’s in the opposite lane of the sidestreet
But there are other reasons why drivers of cars and trucks collide with motorcycles, such as when:
- a car stops at a stop sign but proceeds through an intersection without seeing a motorcycle that has the right of way
- a pickup truck failing to stop in time and rear-ending a motorcycle sitting at a red traffic light
- an SUV driver who is texting or talking on a cell phone and drifts out of his or her lane into a motorcycle in the adjacent lane
- a drunk driver whose motor skills are insufficient to avoid colliding with a motorcycle
In short, motorcyclists tend to be victimized in accidents because other motorists either do not see the motorcycles, or because these car drivers misjudge the speed of an oncoming motorcycle. And even though these collisions are often caused by drivers of passenger vehicles, it’s the motorcyclists (and their passengers) who almost always suffer the more severe injuries. In fact, studies show that a motorcyclist is 27 times more likely to die in a collision with a car than the occupants of the car.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in an Illinois motorcycle accident caused by the negligence or recklessness of someone behind the wheel of a passenger car, be sure to contact a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.