Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accident

81516Far too often, people who drive cars, trucks, and SUVs in Illinois fail to seriously consider the threat they pose to others on the roadways. One of the biggest concerns these drivers should face is their own personal conduct and how it contributes to or detracts from the safety of those in the area. Driving a reasonable speed, allowing others to merge, using turn signals, and leaving plenty of distance between your vehicle and others around you are all responsible actions. Tailgating, aggressively swerving in and out of lanes of traffic, speeding, and driving while distracted are behaviors that put a driver’s own interests before safety and that lead to millions of car accidents in the nation every year.

Motorcyclists fall victim to the actions of others with regularity in Chicago. Though bikers have the right to ride and to do so freely, other drivers often ignore of threaten that right with their conduct, leading to motorcycle accidents and other bike-related incidents that cause physical injuries and financial harm to victims. While bikers who are hurt may be entitled to seek relief through a personal injury claim and with the help of an attorney, it is always better to avoid these accidents long before they take place.

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8816The summer season is the prime time for motorcyclists to hit the open road. Whether heading out on a multi-state road trip or just a cruise along Lake Shore Driver, May through September is the best season for motorcyclists in Chicago.

However, as the temperature rises the number of accidents involving motorcycles increases as well.

Cook County repeatedly reports the highest number of motorcycle fatalities in Illinois, which is no surprise considering the often congested traffic on highways, interstates, and city streets. This congestion is made worse by summer travel and the flood of tourism the Chicago area experiences during summer months.

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32116If you are one of the thousands of motorcycle riders in Illinois, odds are that you have been patiently waiting spring’s arrival so you can get back outdoors and back onto your bike. Maybe the last few weeks have given you an opportunity to already do some riding, taking advantage of the warming weather and increasingly-present sun, or maybe you are still holding off until the final few days of 40 degree weather are finally gone before you take to the road.

Whatever you plans are, know that motorcycle season is rapidly approaching in Chicago and if you are thinking about participating, you should also give some thought to safety precautions before you ride:

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93015.jpgThere are approximately 240,000 registered motorcycles in the State of Illinois right now and most of those take to the road at some point each year. While it is unusual to see a motorcycle during Chicago’s bitter winters, it is possible to come across a rider during any month of the year, a reason that motorcycle safety should be important not only to those who ride but also to anyone who drives a car in Illinois.

Among riders, there are many different styles. Some like to cruise for pleasure during nice weather while others utilize a motorcycle as their primary means of transportation. But there are plenty of issues that all bikers can identify with to some extent, and one of those continues to be the time of day that bikers ride. Specifically, in the biking community, there is plenty of discussion about whether it is safe to ride after the sun sets, and if so, what actions bikers should take to increase their safety as much as possible.
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9215.jpgNow that the calendar has officially turned to September, the thought of fall and cooler weather is on the minds of many who call Chicago home. Though temperatures are supposed to reach the 90s today in the city and though Labor Day is still to come, it is hard to ignore the signs of fall descending upon Illinois, leaving its mark as a tree here or there begins to turn and as students begin the process of going back to school.

For those who ride motorcycles, fall can present its own unique challenges, most of them weather-related. When you live in Chicago, you know that temperatures can fluctuate dramatically in a matter of days – sometimes even in a matter of hours. A cool front can come through and bring with it unseasonably cold weather that can lead a bike ride to go from pleasant to uncomfortable. While many still choose to ride in colder weather, there can be issues that all riders should be aware of during fall:
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82715%283%29.jpgMisconceptions surround the truth when it comes to motorcycle accidents in Chicago. One common belief is that bikers risk their own safety by operating in conditions that are less than ideal, increasing the risks that a collision will take place. In fact, though, more than 90 percent of all motorcycle collisions that happen in the state of Illinois take place on clear days and on dry pavement.

Bikers usually are very cautious when it comes to how they drive and as a group, they tend to avoid dangerous situations whenever possible. Some exercise extreme caution when the approach an intersection even if they have the right-of-way, out of a fear that motorists will either fail to see them or fail to respect their rights. And these concerns are valid as some of the safest bikers in the Chicago area are injured on a regular basis due to the actions of others, including those that drive cars.
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82615.jpgThis week has seen cooler weather come through Chicago, bringing with it feelings of fall and making residents consider things like back-to-school activities. Though it may feel cool when outdoors, summer is still ongoing and with it, many summertime activities. One of these for many in the Chicago area continues to be riding motorcycles.

Motorcycles can be ridden in many months in Illinois but the prime time for ridership remains summer, when the weather is warm and inclement weather is less likely than in other times of the year. The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that there are approximately 10.4 million registered vehicles within the state and that there are 240,000 registered motorcycles. Most of those motorcycles make an appearance on state roads or expressways at least once a year with a large number of them being utilized on a regular basis. While it may seem like only a minority of motorists choose to ride a motorcycle, safety of bikers should be a concern for all because you do not have to be on a motorcycle to be involved in a motorcycle accident.
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8315.jpgThe summer months typically see a greater number of motorcycle accidents in Chicago than other times of the year. Much of that has to do with the fact that summer is a popular time to ride – the weather tends to be pleasant, neither snow nor ice make it hazardous to ride, and some bikers have additional time off during the summertime. Yet weather alone is not the only reason for an increase in the number of bike crashes that the city experiences. A significant additional factor is the number of tourists that come to Chicago and take in the sights. Many of these individuals are less familiar with the city’s layout and the street design than those who call Chicago home and therefore are more likely to make a mistake while on the road. Mistakes tend to lead to dangerous situations, and often, crashes that can threaten the safety of those involved.

Regardless of why a collision involving a motorcycle takes place, it is important for anyone hurt in such a crash to realize that the laws of Illinois likely provide them with certain protections and may provide them with the right to seek relief. If a victim is injured, that victim may be able to seek payment against an at-fault driver and/or that driver’s insurance company for damages including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages as well as any other injustice that occurred as a result of a crash. These claims are very dependent upon the facts of any incident and as a result, victims may wish to speak with a personal injury lawyer to learn about all their options and their rights to help before they take any action.
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72115%282%29.jpgThe typical Chicago driver feels a degree of control over his or her safety while behind the wheel of a car. While this may be somewhat misguided considering that the actions of other drivers can, and often do, lead to car accidents in the city, there is some truth behind the thought: the safer one drives, the less likely one is to be involved in a collision. But even this small though comforting amount of control is relinquished the minute a resident or a visitor foregoes the option to drive and instead becomes a passenger in a car, truck, bus, van, train, or even on a motorcycle.

Passenger safety is complicated because the actions of any driver on the road can put that person’s rights at risk – including the operator of the vehicle in or on which the passenger travels. Not only that but others in the area, like other drivers, also can pose a hazard to passengers as their actions may cause a collision that involves the passenger’s vehicle even if the passenger’s driver did nothing wrong prior to the impact. For these reasons and others, it can be a dangerous business to be a passenger in the Chicago area.
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62815.jpgMany people operate under the mistaken belief that they will never be involved in a motorcycle accident in Chicago because they do not own a motorcycle. At first blush, that may seem like a logical conclusion but in reality, it fails to account for numerous passengers on motorcycles who are injured annually as well as pedestrians, bicyclists, and those in passenger vehicles that are involved in a collision with a motorcycle.

Chicago is not the only place where bikers face a threat as the rest of Illinois continues to see collisions as well. In 2013, the Illinois Department of Transportation recorded 2,699 bikers with injuries in accidents in the state and 152 motorcyclists that lost their lives in 3,464 collisions. While motorcycle crashes were responsible for only 1.2 percent of all traffic accidents during 2013, they were to blame for 13.7 percent of all fatalities in the state – a stunning disparity illuminating the extreme risks faced by bikers when a collision does take place.
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