There 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.
Snodgrass, a motorcyclist, claims $50,000 in compensatory damages after Sophia A. Sharos reportedly changed lanes while driving her car and crashed into his motorcycle leaving him permanently disabled.
The plaintiff, Terry R. Snodgrass, filed a lawsuit on July 12 in the Madison County Circuit Court against the accused, Sharos. The plaintiff claims he drove the motorcycle north on Illinois Route 159 in the 900 block of South Morrison in Collinsville, when the incident happened. Sharps was driving south and pulled into the center lane to turn into a car wash along the road. This resulted in a collision between the car and the motorcycle, leaving Snodgrass severely injured.
According to the complaint, plaintiff suffered numerous injuries including some permanent disabilities as well as disfigurement. The complainant incurred numerous medical costs and has called for compensatory damages for Sharos’ negligence, who failed to take account of Snodgrass coming from the other end. He believes she took no measures to prevent the accident, not taking a proper lookout, trying to slow down or swerve to prevent the accident. For this purpose, Snodgrass has asked for $50,000 dollars plus costs in damages. Owing to the negligence of Sharos, he has suffered permanent disability and disfigurement. Snodgrass has acquired the services of Brad L. Badgley of Belleville to represent him in his claim.
For motorcyclists of all skill levels, Iowa (IA) offers some unparalleled riding opportunities offered to native Iowans and visitors. Positioned between the Mississippi River on the east and Missouri River to the west, Iowa offers some amazingly scenic roads for motorcycle riding with varying rolls and bends to keep the ride interesting, yet without loads of congestion that plague many other riding areas.
As you pass though the communities and cities, you’ll find a diverse blend of rural farming communities sprinkled in with burgeoning cities. When your schedule allows, many of these towns offer amenities as diverse as the motorcyclists who pass through them.
In order to stay safe and make your riding more enjoyable, below you will find some useful information and resources related to motorcycling in Iowa.
Every time a motorcycle passenger agrees to go for a ride, their lives are put in the hands of the driver. Unlike being driven in a truck or car, motorcycle passengers have no protection of an airbag, seat belt, steel frame, or other important safety feature. Even wearing durable clothing and a helmet does little to protect the passenger from colliding with a larger vehicle.
Motorcycle Accident Causes
Many motorcycle accidents are caused by not properly taking necessary safety precautions. Many factors including tailgating, excessive speed, riding between lanes, distraction, driving while under the influence, and lack of experience play a significant role in the motorcyclist’s ability to drive safely. In addition to reckless driving and driver error, other factors can cause serious injury to the passenger involved in a motorcycle accident. These include:
There are approximately 340,000 motorcycles registered in the great state of Illinois and many will be hitting the roads for the first time since last fall in the next few months. Not many riders are out during the winter months.
In fact, in 2010 there was not one fatal crash December through February and only 7 total in November and March. As owners pull out their bikes and get ready for that first ride of the season, it is a good time to look at the dangers out on the road and prepare for a safe riding summer.
Illinois Motorcycle Crash Statistics
The good news on motorcycle riding in Illinois is that even though motorcycle riders seem to be growing in number, the amount of injuries and fatalities are not. The amount of registered motorcycles increased 73% from 1999 to 2010 in Illinois, adding almost 150,000 more motorcycles onto to the road in a little more than a decade.
However, there are still plenty of crashes that involve motorcycles and unfortunately, fatalities as well. The Department of Transportation statistics on traffic crashes between 2007-2011 can shed some light on when these crashes happen and to whom.
- Lowest accident rate in five years. 2011 had the fewest Illinois motorcycle accidents in many years. There were 3,756, down 14.5% over the past 4-year average of 4,395
- 145 Fatalities. In 2011, there were 145 fatalities, up 5.1% over the previous 4-year average of 138
- More crashes going straight. As unlikely as it seems, by far the largest amount of motorcycle accidents happen when the motorcycle is going straight. Over 2,000 of the accidents in the last five years were going straight at the time of the crash
- Older riders in more crashes. In both injury and fatalities, the largest age group is 35 and older. 61% of all injury accidents and 66% of fatalities in 2011 were in this age group
Riding a motorcycle on the road gives a feeling of joyous freedom and a free-flow of adrenalin that is heady to experience. It is not surprising that a lot of middle-aged motorcycle riders go out on the road to feel the wind against their faces as they gun their engines down the road. But the excitement of riding motorcycles down the road is accompanied by several dangers that arise out of unfamiliarity with modern motorcycle parts and due to a disconnect with riding under modern road rules. The fact that older riders are mentally and physically tuned to older rules and machines is often a contributing factor in motorcycle accidents.
Training can help avert motorcycle accidents
Many middle-aged motorcycle enthusiasts take to riding a motorcycle years, or even decades after their last experience several years back. The result is that most of them have typically forgotten how to control the bike in a dangerous situation and their reflexes in an emergency situation is a little rusty. Some states have now implemented what they call mandatory training sessions that are required for motorcycle riders for retaining validity of their riding licenses. The training helps older riders get back in touch with riding knowledge as well helps them practice their reflexes with a qualified instructor before heading out on their own.
Most people out on the road have seen large groups of motorcycles riding together. They also may have noticed that they generally stay together as a group and actually have a formation that they follow. These formations are not by accident and are organized to keep all the riders safe from both accidents related to collisions between riders as well as improve visibility for other vehicles on the road.
Anatomy Of A Group Formation
For group rides, motorcycle “packs” will have a ride leader and a drag or sweep rider that brings up the rear. The idea is for these two riders to encompass the group and make sure they communicate if there are any problems ahead or with any of the group members.
Chicago, IL, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has resolved an uninsured motorist case for $250,000 on behalf of a 41-year-old carpenter who sustained cuts to his face and injuries to his back and neck. The incident occurred when a hit-and-run driver veered into his lane of traffic and collided with him head-on.
After receiving emergency care at the scene from paramedics, the man was transported to an emergency room where a plastic surgeon removed the bits of glass from his face and closed the wounds with approximately 20 stitches. Due to ongoing lower back pain, our client’s family physician referred him to an orthopedist who confirmed that the pain was due to a bulging disc in the lower back.
After several months of physical therapy, our client made a good recovery and was able to resume most of his activities.