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Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

Helmets in Illinois Some individuals enjoy using their motorcycle as the preferred way to move about the city or take a leisurely trip on Illinois State routes. Others see motorcycle riding as an economical choice to reduce the expense of buying gas and paying high insurance premiums when traveling to work, shopping or other local destinations. Most riders know the risks of motorcycling and should wear a motorcycle helmet to protect themselves should they crash, which choose not to.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (DOT) released crash information for the year 2014 involving motorcycle accidents with injuries and fatalities. The report revealed that 92 percent (3030 incidents) of the 3292 motorcycle crashes occurring that year involved males, and more than a third of those (1146 accidents) were between 21 and 34 years of age. Motorcyclists who suffered fatal injuries in these accidents that year “were less likely to have been using safety equipment” like wearing a helmet.

Statistics show that of the 118 motorcycle fatalities occurring in 2014, fewer than 2 percent had been wearing a DOT-compliant helmet and 80 percent (68 fatalities) were not wearing any helmet at the time of the accidents. The number of deaths associated with motorcycle accidents occurring in Illinois in 2015 rose 24 percent from the previous year.

Motorcycle Safety to Avoid CrashesOver 80% of motorcycle accidents end with severe injury or death to the motorcyclist or his or her passenger. For this reason alone, it is important that motorcyclists review crash prevention measures and other safety practices that can help them be seen on the road and to avoid being in compromising situations on the road. Since so many accidents result in injury or death, it is also important for motorcyclists to wear protective clothing and equipment to best reduce the severity of injuries they may suffer in and accident and to increase their chances of survival.

Motorcyclists Sixteen Times More Likely to Die in an Accident

Over 2,100 motorcyclists are killed in accidents every year. Auto accidents in general are one of the leading causes of death in the United States, but operating a motorcycle increases the likelihood of death drastically. Much of this is due to the fact that cars have an array of effective safety features motorcycles do not, but also due to the fact that many motorcyclists do not wear the protective gear needed to increase their chances of survival.

motorcycle accidentLast year has proven to be a dangerous one for motorcyclists in Chicago and there have already been a slew of accidents heading into the fall that warrant our attention. Changing weather and temperature have more cyclists taking to the roads to enjoy the season before winter comes and this puts them at risk due to volume. The Chicago motorcycle accident injury attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC routinely represent the victims of these accidents and cannot stress how important it is for motorists and lawmakers to contribute when it comes to the protection of motorcycles on the road.

Fall Has Played Witness to a Rash of Accidents Already

Heading into November, we’ve already witnessed too many motorcycle accidents for comfort. The devastation wrought upon the victims and their families is life changing, and those who have lost loved ones cannot recover what they’ve lost regardless of compensation. Here are some of the most high profile accidents we have seen so far.

collide with motorcyclistsOne of the reasons motorcycles are so dangerous is that they have a very low profile and are difficult to see on the road during inclement weather or while driving at night. These factors also impact the ability of drivers to accurately measure the speed of the motorcycle as it approaches an intersection or changes lanes. Whenever sharing the road with a motorcyclist, a driver should always err on the side of caution simply to compensate for these risks and factors, as providing more space and time to motorcyclists can ultimately be the difference between a nonevent and tragic accident.

Why Drivers Have Difficulty Determining the Speed of Motorcyclists

If you have ever watched a train approaching a railroad crossing, or an airplane taking off from a runway, you already have an idea of how the size of an object can affect your perception of its speed. Trains are notorious for moving much faster than people suspect they are due to their size, profile and the angle at which people view them. Motorcycles can play similar tricks on the mind— especially at night when they are only visible by their headlights and reflectors.

Liability of Motorcycle OperatorsMotorcyclists are not the only victims injured in motorcycling accidents and their passengers are subject to the same risks they are. When a passenger is injured, it could be due to the negligent actions of another motorist or the reckless and irresponsible behavior of the person operating the bike. There is great responsibility that accompanies transporting another person in any vehicle, regardless of whether it is a car, a commercial truck or a motorcycle. If the actions of a motorcyclist bring harm upon his or her passenger, that passenger is entitled to recover compensation for the value of his or her expenses and lost opportunities.

How a Motorcyclist May Jeopardize His or Her Passenger

It isn’t common for motorcyclists to intentionally put their passengers in harm’s way, but they might attempt to showboat or act in a reckless manner to obtain approval. Their passengers are almost always close friends or family members, so there can be an emotional element to any claim made against a motorcyclist by his or her passenger. Even though it is not the intent of motorcyclists to injure their riders, they may do so and be required to cover the damages. Here are some of the ways a motorcyclist can injure his or her passenger.

serious accidentsHarley Davidson has had a rough ride with its clutch systems in recent years and has recently announced the recall of 46,000 of its motorcycles citing a problem which is very similar to other recalls issued in the last two years. As the number of Harley Davidson motorcycles with defective clutches continues to mount, it is advisable that any Harley owner who has purchased a bike produced since 2013 investigate whether the recall affects his or her model. In the event that a faulty clutch system had resulted in an accident or injuries, victims may also be entitled to claim compensation for the cost of medical treatment and other costs.

Shifting Focus onto Clutch Systems

In 2013, Harley Davidson issued a recall of over 25,000 Touring motorcycles, citing an issue with the hydraulic clutch system that made it possible for the clutch to fail to disengage due to a lack of lift. The problem with this defect is that riders can find themselves unable to slow down or come to a stop, making it more difficult to avoid an accident or becoming the direct cause of a collision. The recall included a specific “do not ride” notice to owners of the bikes and a notice to dealers not to deliver any more of the vehicles until the issue had been repaired. Continue reading ›

Illinois motorcycle accident attorneyIllinois Offers Refresher Cyclist Courses After the Long Winter Months

With the renewed morning sunshine and absence of snow piles, motorcyclists are taking advantage of their newfound freedom. The spring months always attract an influx of motorcycle riders out onto the roads and highways of Illinois. Even though motorcyclists may understandably feel excited and thrilled to hit the roads after a long winter, it is important that they perform proper maintenance checks and refresh their skills if necessary. In a recent article published by the Northwest Herald, Project Coordinator Scott Has stated that spring is often the most dangerous for cyclists to get back on the roads. He was quoted in saying that in 2012 cyclists hit the road and “there was a spike in final crashes.” Some of these accidents are caused by motorcyclists who forget operational tips, while other accidents are caused by drivers taken aback by cyclists on the road.

Increased Measures to Decrease Driver Fatalities

Illinois moped accidentsThere is no doubt that mopeds and motor scooters have increased in popularity in recent years. The sky-rocketing gas prices and those who want to use more environmentally friendly means of transportation have boosted sales in these previously scoffed at modes of travel. What is concerning to many is the lack of safety for both riders and others on the road.

The Motor Scooter Loophole

The problem with the mopeds and motor scooters is that they seem to have created a loophole in the system when it comes to public safety and regulation. Since mopeds and small motor scooters are somewhere in between a bicycle and a motorcycle, they seem to have circumvented regulations that motorcycle riders must adhere to.  Although Illinois does require that moped riders have a driver’s license, many states do not. Also, even though a driver’s license is required in Illinois, there is no separate motorcycle training or license that would ensure that riders of these motorized bikes are aware of the dangers that a two-wheel vehicle may face.