Motorcycles have the same rights on the road as other vehicles and are protected by the same laws. However, whether it is due to low visibility or just distraction on the part of other drivers, many times the larger vehicles on the road fail to yield to motorcycles and cause serious accidents. Motorcycle accidents resulted in over 34,000 rider deaths and 1.2 million rider injuries between 2001-2008, many of them caused by other vehicles that failed to yield to a motorcycle.
Cause Of Motorcycle Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a study based on 2005 crash data involving motorcycle fatalities to determine the cause of the accidents. While motorcyclist had their fair share of blame in many accidents, drivers of other vehicles were also often at fault. Some of the findings included:
- Of the 4,553 motorcycle fatalities, 56% were involved in two-vehicle crashes. Of these crashes with passenger vehicles, 98% of the fatalities were either the driver or passenger of the motorcycle; only 2% were in the other vehicle.
- 35% of the accidents involved the passenger vehicle driver failing to yield, versus only 4% of the motorcycle drivers. Passenger vehicles failing to yield were the highest percentage of any driver-related factor in all the accidents.
- 90% of the crashes happen on non-interstate roadways. Half of these accidents happened at intersections where yielding is a major issue.
Vehicles failing to yield to motorcycles were paramount in the study, showing that drivers either do not see motorcycles or refuse to yield to them when driving. According to the data, the other vehicle drivers failing-to-yield was the factor listed in over 800 motorcycle rider deaths that year.
Why Vehicles Fail To Yield To Motorcycles
It is unlikely that drivers of cars and other vehicles are choosing to ignore the law and not yield to motorcycles. Instead, it is either reckless or distracted driving that is more likely the reason for this lack of judgment. Motorcycles are smaller and easier to miss, especially when drivers are not paying attention. Common reasons a driver may not yield to a motorcycle:
- Distracted driving. Cell phones, electronic devices, other passengers and many other distractions can take driver’s focus off of the road.
- Impaired driving. Alcohol and other substances that impair a person’s judgment behind the wheel are a constant danger when used when driving.
- Drowsy driving. More and more drivers are getting behind the wheel with too little sleep and are not as alert as they need to be.
Unfortunately, whether it is intentional or not, these errors can be deadly to the unsuspecting motorcyclist who is the victim of these accidents.Chicago Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Representing Injured Cyclists
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have diligently fought for injured motorcyclists in many cases involving accidents where drivers have failed to yield, causing harm and damage to our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, our attorneys will defend your right to compensation for your injuries, property damage and loss. Contact our office to schedule a no obligation appointment to discuss your case with one of our experienced Chicago, IL motorcycle accident attorneys.
Information on the causes of motorcycle accidents: