There are many benefits to choosing a motorcycle as your mode of transportation. The extra freedom of movement and lower costs are perks of your vehicle, but they all come with related downfalls. The lack of protection around your body, smaller size and susceptibility to road hazards can all contribute to motorcycle accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2008 there were more than 5,000 fatal motorcycle accidents in the U.S., representing almost 11% of the total fatal vehicle crashes. In Illinois alone there were 131 reported fatal motorcycle accidents in 2008, representing 9% of the total fatal vehicle crashes. Motorcycle accidents involving death or serious injury should be reviewed by a Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer to determine if an Illinois personal injury claim should be filed.
Common Motorcycle Accident Risks
One of the greatest perils motorcyclists face is the presence of other drivers in larger vehicles. Car and truck drivers often fail to give proper care when driving near motorcyclists and often neglect to see them when changing lanes or making turns. Many large vehicle drivers do not respect the presence of motorcycles on the road and fail to give proper consideration to them.
Other issues motorcyclists face when driving include:
- Visual recognition – You and your bike are a smaller visual target and often end up in the blind spot of larger vehicles.
- Road hazards – What may only be a small bump to a car can be a jarring hazard to a motorcycle.
- Speed “wobble” – Misalignment of the front and rear tires at higher speeds can cause instability.
- Advanced operation skills – Motorcycles require more training and experience to operate than 4-wheeled vehicles.
The structure of the motorcycle is also cause for concern with motorcycle accidents. Many Illinois personal injury claims include reports of severe injuries such as spinal cord injury, and head trauma resulting in traumatic brain injuries. These kinds of injuries are common for motorcycle accidents, especially with the high probability that the rider will be thrown from their bike.