Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

Springtime and Threats it Can CauseIllinois 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

Attentive Drivers are Essential for SafetyAccidents on the road may be a partially solvable problem – especially if we consider that 90 percent of all accidents on the road are attributed to human error. It is obvious that traffic safety programs must pay more attention to how the person is going to react in certain situations, not just whether new drivers are capable of handling a car.

We must promote good behavior

Bad driving behavior makes up the majority of the road accidents. For example:

Red Light Cameras... Good or BadChicago’s Plan to Remove Red Light Cameras

Running through red light cameras in Chicago can cost a pretty penny. The government imposes fees of $35 to $100 for failing to stop at a red light, which is currently recorded through video surveillance measures. However, drivers on the road may no longer have to worry about paying these high fees as City Hall will be removing 36 of its red-light cameras. The cameras will be removed in areas that have been successful in reducing the number of crashes due to running red lights.

There will still be a significant number of red-light cameras left located throughout Chicago. There will be 348 red-light cameras located 172 intersections throughout the city. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stated that automated traffic enforcement that utilizes video surveillance is intended to change drivers’ behavior. Because the number of crashes have been reduced in certain areas of Chicago, there is no longer a need to maintain red-light cameras. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has also stated that there is an “enhanced level of safety” in these areas. Only time will tell whether auto accidents will continue to be low in areas in which red-light cameras are said to have altered drivers’ behavior.

Slower Speeds Help With BreakingIt sounds so straightforward – when you are driving at a faster speed, you have significantly less time to identify possible hazards and react to your surroundings. You also know that it is going to take you far longer to bring a vehicle to a complete stop when traveling at higher speeds, and it makes sense that if you are involved in an accident – the likelihood of the injuries being more severe at higher speeds increase as well. Yet when it comes to driving, most people still go over the speed limit.

Facts and statistics about speed in auto accidents

The faster a driver is going, the more it is going to increase the braking and thinking distance. Someone traveling at a higher speed is going to cover more ground than someone who is going at a lower speed when it comes to noticing a potential hazard and reacting accordingly. The calculator (which you can try here) gives you a realistic notion of how much higher speeds affect longer thinking distances.

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.

Motorist Injured While Merging On Highway In IllinoisSnodgrass, 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.

Iowa State FlagFor 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.

Busy Intersection with accidents and fatalatiesAlong Route 173 in Illinois, a horrific intersection accident involving a school bus is what it took in order for the Department of Transportation to agree that a stoplight was necessary.

A Deadly Wadsworth Intersection

Like many intersections throughout Illinois and the rest of the country, the intersection of Route 173 and Kilbourne Road near Wadsworth had outgrown its original design. It was once a small-town intersection, and a four-way stop sign was good enough. Times changed, however, and as Route 173 became a major motorway, the simple intersection was no longer suitable to handle the heavy traffic load during peak periods.

motorcycle passengers can file lawsuits against operatorsEvery 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:

Illinois-motorcycle-safetyThere 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

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