What Causes Motorcycle Crashes?
Most of the time, when a motorcyclist is in an accident, it is not the biker’s fault. Drivers of cars, trucks, and buses often fail to notice a biker on the road until it is too late. Regardless of who caused the collision, the forces involved mean that a biker is almost always likely to be hurt or killed.
In fact, in 2018 alone, there were 2,266 injuries in Illinois crashes involving motorcycles. Of those, 811 resulted in serious injury and 119 were fatal.
Motorcycles account for a small portion of all accidents and a disproportionately high number of fatalities. So, it is important to recognize the common causes of motorcycle accidents and to take all practical steps to avoid them.
In our experience as Chicago motorcycle accident attorneys, we have found the following to be the most common ways a motorcycle crash occurs:
Left Turn Motorcycle Accidents
One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents occurs when a car attempts to turn left in front of an oncoming bike. If the driver of the car does not have enough space to complete a turn, a collision will result.
In Chicago motorcycle left turn accidents, a motorcyclist usually impacts the passenger side of the vehicle or lays down the bike. Injuries are likely to result.
Rear-End Motorcycle Collision
Motorcycles need less time and less distance to stop than heavier vehicles. As a result, drivers should allow extra space between themselves and a motorcycle in front of them.
This increased cushion is necessary in case traffic comes to a stop or a biker must brake for another reason. Despite this, many drivers follow bikers more closely than they would another vehicle.
This can lead to a dangerous situation where drivers cannot stop in time to prevent a rear-end collision. While rear-end crashes between cars can sometimes be minor, they rarely are when it involves a motorcycle.
Head-On Motorcycle Accident
Head on collision accidents no matter what the vehicle is always prove to be one of the most severe accidents someone can be involved in. In the instance of a head-on motorcycle accident it almost always leads to severe injuries or even death.
Staying alert as a motorcyclist and paying attention to other drivers on the road can help prevent the likelihood of a head-on collision. Proper maintenance of your motorcycle can also help you avoid a head on collision by checking your lights and making sure that other drivers on the road can see you in low light circumstances.
Changing Lane Motorcycle Accident
On any road, a motorcyclist is at risk when another vehicle decides to change lanes. Motorcycles are harder to see than cars because of their small size, so it is easier for bikes to hide in a driver’s blind spot.
Also, drivers may fail to look for a motorcycle before changing lanes and cause an accident.
Collisions that begin with a motorcycle being sideswiped usually results in the rider getting thrown to the ground. This is another source of serious injury among the riding community and these accidents can be fatal.
Distracted Driving Motorcycle Accident
Distraction can be from an object inside or outside of a vehicle. Everyday things like a cup of coffee, a conversation with a passenger, or even the radio can cause distraction. More problematic are cell phones and other devices with communication abilities.
Distracted drivers are more likely to cause an accident. Studies show that drivers who text are nearly as deadly as drunk drivers. These motorists cause crashes and it’s the bikers that get hurt.
Dooring Motorcycle Accident
Dooring is the term for when a passenger in a vehicle opens a vehicular door into traffic. Most often, this happens after a car parks on a street and the driver and passengers try to exit.
When motorists fail to look for oncoming traffic, they risk opening the door into the path of a motorcycle.
When a car strikes an open door, the occupants of the car are not at significant risk for serious injuries. This is not true of bikers, who too often get killed in these accidents.
It is the responsibility of a driver to make sure that no door opens into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. Failure to do so puts the driver at fault for a crash.
Driving Under the Influence Motorcycle Accidents
If a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, fatal crashes are a very real possibility. Motorcyclists are very susceptible to injury if they happen to cross paths with a DUI driver. Intoxicated motorists present not only a risk to themselves, but to everyone else on the road. It also goes without saying that motorcycle drunk driving is also extremely dangerous and should never be done.
Right-of-Way Motorcycle Accidents
Right of way motorcycle accidents commonly happen when another driver neglects to adhere to a motorcyclists right-of-way capability usually because they check their surroundings and see the rider.
Sudden Stop Motorcycle Accidents
Vehicles making sudden stops may end up in rear-end accidents. While rear-end collisions are some of the most common traffic crashes in the nation, they usually involve passenger cars and larger vehicles.
These accidents may produce property damage only or they may cause injuries to the drivers and passengers involved. But when a motorcycle is involved in a sudden stop accident, like a rear-end crash, the results are almost always serious. It can cause a rider to lose his or her life.
Sudden stops cause complicated legal cases that may entitle victims to seek relief depending on the facts surrounding the crash.
Call a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Abels & Annes
With several motorcycle accidents occurring every day in Illinois, the threat of injury is too great to ignore. Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to prevent an accident.
But, recognizing the frequent types of motorcycle accident crashes can help a rider avoid them. Vehicular drivers also need to realize their part in preventing crashes and to watch for motorcycles as they drive. It is always better to be cautious and to avoid an accident then to suffer the penalties for causing a biker to lose his or her life.
If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident in the Chicago area, contact the Chicago personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. Let us provide you with a free case consultation.
We never charge a fee unless you make a recovery and we are standing by 24 hours a day to take your call at (312) 924-7575.You can also contact us online for your convenience. Call us today and let us help you.