Proportionally, there are fewer motorcycle accidents compared to vehicle accidents on the nation’s highways and city streets. However, these types of collisions tend to result in more serious injuries and a higher number of fatalities than car crashes. The federal government has made claims that for every mile traveled in 2006, bikers were 35 times more likely to die in an accident as compared to passenger vehicle drivers involved in collisions. While this statistic is alarming, there are many steps a motorcyclist can take to prevent being involved in an accident and reduce the potential risks when traveling on highways, rural roads and urban environments.
The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have reviewed many motorcycle accident cases occurring in Illinois that resulted in serious injuries or death. Nearly all of these accidents involved collisions with passenger vehicles, commercial trucks and obstacle/debris in the roadway. Our Illinois motorcycle accident law firm has noticed a higher incident rate of serious accidents involving high-performance motorcycles including sport and supersport bikes.
Sport and Supersport Motorcycles
Supersport motorcycles are designed much like racing motorcycles but,have been modified for the biker to use on highways. With its lightweight construction and high-horsepower engine, these motorcycles can travel at speeds of nearly 160 miles per hour. Supersport bikes are marketed and purchased by riders 30 years and younger. The majority of accidents involving supersport motorcycles are the result of rider inexperience or a lack of caution by a younger generation of bikers who are more willing to take risks at higher speeds.
The fatality rate of supersport motorcycle riders is four times higher than accidents involving sport motorcycles. Alternatively, the sport motorcycle is designed much like supersport bikes but is manufactured with a low power to weight ratio. These motorcycles are highly marketed to bikers 35 years and older.
Common Motorcycle Accident Causes
Motorcycles have a significantly smaller profile compared to even the smallest passenger vehicles on city streets, roads and highways. Because they are more difficult to see, many motorists are unaware that they are sharing the road with a motorcycle until an accident occurs. This is because many drivers operate their vehicles while distracted.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Illinois involve:
- Motorcycle/Passenger Vehicle Collision – While there is a likely consensus among most drivers that aggressive motorcycle riders cause the most bikers/passenger vehicle collisions, the opposite is true. Most passenger vehicle accidents involving a motorcycle rider occur because the driver never saw the motorcycle on the road. In many cases, the biker was hidden by the vehicle blind spot, adverse weather conditions or the dark of night. Bikers can easily increase their presence on the roadway by wearing reflective clothing and turning on their headlight during daylight hours.
- Crashes Involving Sudden Stops – Only approximately five percent of all motorcycle collisions involve being hit from behind by a driver or trucker. However, rear-ending a motorcycle even at slow speeds when making a sudden stop can be catastrophic to the biker and passenger. Bikers can take preventative measures to avoid these types of accidents by increasing their presence by wearing reflective helmets and clothing and avoiding making sudden stops at intersections or when turning, which can be catastrophic if a vehicle is tailgating the bike.
- Single Vehicle Accidents –Because motorcycles are lightweight and operate on two wheels, they are highly susceptible to sliding, skidding, or toppling over even at slow speeds. Any curve in the roadway, adverse weather condition or slick surface can increase the biker’s potential of being involved in a single vehicle accident. One way to prevent these types of accidents is to ride a safe distance behind other vehicles and steer clear of deep grooves, railroad crossings, roadway construction and uneven pavement.
- Dooring Accidents – One of the most dangerous unseen hazards while traveling in urban environments involves dooring accidents where a driver or passenger in a parked car along the side of a road opens their door directly into the pathway of an approaching motorcycle. These types of accidents typically cause severe injury to the biker who is thrown over the handlebars or reacts quickly by swerving out of the way and into oncoming traffic. One way to minimize the potential of being involved in a dooring accident is to ride the bike in the center of the lane when passing parked cars.
- Malfunctioning Parts – Not every motorcycle accident is caused by negligence by the biker or other motorists on the road. Often times, a malfunctioning component, defective design or error during the manufacturing process can be the direct or indirect cause of a crash. This includes faulty tires, malfunctioning brakes, defect mistake or other problem that does not arise until the motorcyclist is moving. Some of these problems take years to present themselves. Without a proper investigation, many problems associated with malfunctioning parts are never brought to discovered.
Most of the common causes of motorcycle accidents listed above were the result of the negligence of others. Because of that, many bikers who have suffered injuries and damage to their motorcycle after being involved in a collision will hire personal injury attorney who specializes in vehicle accidents.
Hiring a Lawyer
The Illinois personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have assisted many victims of motorcycle accidents in determining what factors led to the accident. Our law firm has access to every resource necessary to investigate the accident and gather evidence and eyewitness accounts to build a solid case for financial compensation.
Our comprehensive understanding of complex Illinois personal injury tort law and years of experience can ensure you receive the adequate financial recompense you deserve to pay for your medical expenses, time away from work, injuries, expenses, physical damage, pain and suffering. We encourage you to contact our law offices today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a no obligation, free case review. We accept all motorcycle accident cases, personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee arrangements, so no upfront fees are required.