Auto accidents are all too common in the state of Illinois. One of the largest causes of these accidents are drivers who are impaired by alcohol.
When a crash involves a motorcyclist, the odds of a fatality increase sharply because of the innate lack of external protection offered by these vehicles. And as with passenger vehicles, the chances of being in an accident rise with the operator of them motorcycle is drunk.
That’s why state officials have embarked upon an initiative to reduce the number of motorcyclists driving drunk in Illinois. The “Ride Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign was launched in August of 2013 by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police, and organizations that advocate motorcycle safety.
As part of this measure, IDOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have released some statistics which illuminate when fatalities involving drunk motorcyclists are most likely to occur. Here are some of the highlights:
- In Illinois, almost one-fourth (24%) of all motorcycle fatalities between 6pm and 9pm are suffered by legally intoxicated bike operators. This is in stark contrast to drunk drivers of all other types of vehicles, which make up only about 11% of the fatalities during these hours in the state.
- Similarly, 15% of motorcycle fatalities occurring between 3pm and 6pm involve drunk motorcycle operators, while the percentage is just 6% among their “other vehicle” counterparts.
- Between 9pm and midnight, approximately the same percentage of drunk drivers are killed on motorcycles (21%) as they are in all other vehicles (20%).
- Between midnight and 6am, over half (53%) of all fatalities in four-wheeled vehicles involve a drunk driver, while the corresponding percentage among drunk motorcyclists is only 29%.
- Only about 10% of all motorcycle operator fatalities occurring between 6am and 6pm involve drunk motorcyclists.
Obviously, the takeaway here is to never operate a motorcycle while intoxicated, even during daylight hours. But here’s something else to consider: motorcycle riders who carry passengers are responsible for the safety of their passengers under Illinois law. So if a drunk motorcycle operator crashes and his or her passenger is injured or killed, he or she could be named as the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit. The same concept applies if the accident injures or kills a pedestrian, bicyclist, or occupant of a passenger vehicle.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident involving a drunk driver, seek medical attention immediately – and then contact a qualified drunk driving accident attorney as soon as possible.