Motorcyclists face unique dangers on the road, most of which are not met by other motorists.
For example, there is no protective barrier between the motorcyclist and the road. Other drivers do not always easily see motorcycles, leaving a motorcycle rider at a greater risk for an accident and injuries.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Statistics reveal that motorcyclists face a high risk of accidents and injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycles account for about 3 percent of the total registered vehicles in the United States, but motorcycle accidents are responsible for about 14 percent of highway fatalities each year. In addition, close to 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death. This is in comparison to around 20 percent for other motor vehicle accidents.
In 2012, NHTSA published a report that revealed the vulnerability of motorcycle riders on U.S. roads. According to the study, for every registered vehicle, the fatality rate for a motorcycle rider was 6 times higher than that of passenger car occupants. In 50 percent of fatal crashes, the motorcycle collided with another motor vehicle.
Unique Risks Faced by Motorcyclists
- Road hazards: Minor road hazards that may not be noticeable to a motor vehicle can be a major risk for motorcycle riders. These hazards include puddles, potholes, debris, oil slicks, uneven pavement, railroad tracks, and ruts.
- Visual recognition: Motorcycles are usually hard to spot as they easily get obscured by larger vehicles on the road or by weather conditions. This problem mainly occurs in intersections where almost 70 percent of motorcycle accidents occur.
- Riding skills: Riding a motorcycle requires physical coordination and skill compared to driving a car. If the rider lacks basic riding skills or fails to understand the inherent operating characteristics of the motorcycle, then the chances of an accident become very high.
- Speed wobble accidents: At higher speeds, the front side of the motorcycle tends to become unstable and may start to wobble. This often happens because of the misalignment of one of the tires of the motorcycle. (For tips on motorcycle safety, see the article “How to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents in Chicago“)
Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer Chicago
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident because of another driver’s negligence or recklessness, you may make a claim for all damages from the person at fault. Speak with a Chicago motorcycle accident attorney from Willens Law Offices to learn about your legal rights.