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Waukegan Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. As the weather warms and more motorcyclists take their bikes out of the garage and hit the Illinois highways, there is no better time to direct our focus toward sharing the road with these unique vehicles and discussing ways to prevent accidents. Because a motorcycle's physical structure is so different from that of a car, motorcyclists are more susceptible to serious injuries in the event of a collision. They can also be much more difficult for drivers to see, especially at night. By understanding the hazards that motorcycle riders face, drivers of all vehicle types can take steps to make the road safer for them and others. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you could find yourself facing a significant financial burden. This burden can include your medical bills, your lost wages as a result of having to take time off work, and miscellaneous expenses like your need for pain medication or a mobility aid after the accident. All of these expenses can possibly be compensated through a successful personal injury claim.

What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcycle accidents have many of the same causes as car accidents. Many of these causes can be attributed to driver negligence, including:

  • Driving drunk;
  • Distracted driving;
  • Failure to signal properly or use headlights at night, which can make it difficult to see a vehicle;
  • Disregard for the posted traffic signage, such as stop signs and traffic lights;
  • Drowsy driving; and
  • Aggressive behavior, also known as road rage.
  • Other causes of motorcycle accidents that can also cause car accidents include vehicle malfunction and issues related to poor roadway maintenance, such as uneven pavement and potholes.

There are also certain hazards in the road that are more dangerous for motorcyclists than other types of motorists. For example, sharp turns can be inconvenient or uncomfortable for an individual in a car, but dangerous or even deadly for a motorcyclist due to the center of balance of the motorcycle. Wet roadways can also be more hazardous for motorcyclists, as can sand or ice on roadways.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

A few important motorcycle accident statistics from the Insurance Information Institute are provided below:

  • 92,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents on United States highways in 2014. This was up from the 88,000 who were injured in accidents in 2013;
  • 4,586 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2014; and
  • In 2013, motorcyclists were 26 times more likely per mile than passengers of other vehicles types to be injured in accidents.

The data also shows that in 2013, 55 percent of the motorcyclists who died in collisions were 40 years old or older. In 2014, 29 percent of motorcyclists who were involved in fatal collisions had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher at the time of their collision. This is the level at which it is illegal for an individual to operate any type of motor vehicle because of the effects that alcohol can have on an individual's perception and judgment of his or her surroundings.

How Can You Prevent Motorcycle Accidents?

As a motorist, you can reduce your chance of being injured in a motorcycle accident by taking the following actions:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings. Motorcycles can be difficult to see, especially in tight traffic and at night. Opting not to use your phone while driving can keep you more aware of the road around you;
  • Never drive drunk;
  • Always give motorcycles ample following distance; and
  • Obey all posted traffic signage.

If you are a motorcyclist, keep the following safety steps in mind to protect yourself and others:

  • Make sure your motorcycle is visible at all times, especially at night. Use lights on your motorcycle and outfit yourself in reflective materials to make sure all other motorists see you;
  • Do not weave in and out of traffic. Observe the same laws that govern cars; and
  • Wear the correct safety gear while riding. This is to protect yourself if you are in an accident. The correct gear includes a well-fitting helmet, shoes that fully cover your feet and ankles, and long pants and sleeves.

Lake County Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Even if you take all the correct precautions when sharing the road with motorcyclists, you can still be involved in a collision with one and suffer an injury. If this happens to you, consider filing a personal injury claim to seek monetary compensation for your damages. Speak with a skilled Lake County personal injury attorney at our firm to learn more about your rights and options as a motorcycle accident victim. Our team at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. is here to help you by providing you with top-quality legal advice and representation as you seek the money you deserve. Call 847-662-3303 or visit our contact page to schedule an initial consultation.

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