Our Chicago accident attorneys continue to report about the high number of serious and fatal motorcycle accidents that occur each summer in the Chicago area. Motorists who fail to yield to a motorcycle are a primary cause of crashes.
Nearly 1,000 motorcycle accidents occurred in Chicago in 2008, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Twenty three riders were killed and 463 were seriously injured.
In this case, police report the motorcyclist was riding his Suzuki eastbound on Chicago Road, shortly before 6 p.m. Friday, when he was struck by a westbound Chevrolet van that turned left in front of him. The rider was taken to Valley West Community Hospital. The 54-year-old driver of the van was not injured.
Nationwide, a total of 5,290 riders were killed in 2008 and 96,000 were injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Riders will be out in force through the last half of summer, enjoying the Illinois riding season before the weather turns crisp in the fall. Motorists are urged to do their part to avoid being involved in a serious or fatal Illinois motorcycle accident. IDOT provides a wide range of resources through startseeingmotorcycles.org, including a list of safety classes and resources for bikers and motorists alike.
According to its “Share the Road” brochure:
-Intersections: Are the most dangerous place for crashes. Most often the motorcycle is proceeding straight when the vehicle makes a left turn in front of the rider (which is exactly what happened in this case). Yield the right of way and always use your turn signal.
-Lanes: A motorcycle lane is the same size as a car lane; a motorcycle is entitled to its own lane of travel and should never be crowded. Don’t attempt to share a lane.
-Following Distance: Allow at least two second following distance between any vehicle, especially a motorcycle.
-Stopping Distance: Motorcycles can sometimes stop quicker than cars, but a lot depends on weather and road conditions and a rider’s training and experience. Make sure to leave plenty of room between you and a motorcycle in the event it becomes necessary to stop suddenly.
-Drive Aware: Motorcycle registrations account for little more than 3 percent of the vehicles on the road. However, they are involved in almost 13 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents. Motorists need to be aware of motorcycles and share the road.