Motorcycle safety includes driver awareness
Motorcyclists across Illinois are beginning to celebrate the beautiful weather of late spring by enjoying more frequent rides on their bikes. With more motorcyclists using the roads, it is essential for other motorists to do everything they can to increase their own awareness of motorcycles. This can help keep everyone safe and may save many bikers’ lives.
Automobile vs. motorcycle
Some of the most common yet completely preventable motorcycle accidents occur when motorists are unaware of a motorcyclist and move into the bike’s path. Not long ago in Bridgeview, two motorcyclists died when a vehicle allegedly crashed into their bike. One of the accident victims died at the scene while the other was transported to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
In a recent unrelated accident, a 22-year-old motorcyclist was driving through Dry Grove Township in McLean County when a fully loaded dump truck struck him. Preliminary reports indicate that the biker was headed eastbound when the westbound truck allegedly turned left into the motorcyclist’s path. He died at the scene before first responders arrived.
A similar accident recently occurred in Lemont Township. A man who was preparing to celebrate his college graduation with family was struck and killed when a car allegedly pulled into the bike’s path without warning. The bike struck the car and the young man, a former marine, was killed.
These accidents occur on a daily basis throughout the world. The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that there were over 3,300 injured motorcyclists in 2012, 1,177 of which experienced severe enough injuries that they were unable to resume their regular schedules and lives. Additionally, a total of 148 accident-related deaths occurred that year, equaling roughly one death every three days.
Reducing motorcycle accidents
Many drivers feel that they are experienced enough to be aware of all motorists on the road, including motorcyclists. However, one lapse in judgment could lead to accidents that cause motorcyclists severe problems, such as brain injury or lost limbs. To ensure that they will not cause an accident involving a motorcyclist, drivers can employ the following steps:
- Watch for increased motorcycle presence on the roadways on sunny days and in the spring and summer months.
- Always yield to motorcycles.
- Double check mirrors and blind spots when backing up or changing lanes to ensure that a motorcyclist was not missed.
- Look for helmets and wheels amidst larger vehicles on the road to spot harder-to-see motorcyclists.
- Do not drink and drive
- Obey all traffic laws
All motorists are responsible for keeping the roads safe for everyday use. Keeping devastating motorcycle accidents from occurring should be every motorist’s goal. Chicago motorcyclists who have been injured in an accident should contact a personal injury attorney to discuss their case.