Top 11 Dangers That Illinois Motorcyclists Face
Every year in Illinois, there are nearly 3,000 motorcycle accidents. Sadly, there are close to 100 fatalities each year in the state. Hundreds or thousands of people will suffer injuries as a result of Illinois motorcycle accidents. When motorcyclists are involved in collisions, they are much more likely to face serious injuries than those in car crashes. This is because of the size of the vehicle as well as the lack of protection that the vehicle offers. For this reason, it is even more crucial for Illinois motorcyclists to avoid dangers. Here are some of the top hazards motorcyclists face and some tips for avoiding them.
Top Hazards for Motorcyclists
The thing that makes motorcycles handle in a much more nimble fashion than cars is what makes them the most dangerous: their size. Other drivers sometimes cannot see motorcycles due to their small size. Additionally, other drivers cannot judge the speed of motorcycles as well as they can judge the speed of cars, resulting in accidents.
Motorcycles are extremely lightweight–compared to a car. They also only have two wheels, which makes them less stable than cars. Additionally, there are no airbags, doors, a roof, or seatbelts. If an accident happens to a motorcyclist, it is more likely to be catastrophic than a car operator.
Rain will greatly reduce your visibility. It also will prevent your tires from gripping the road as well. Wind can blow your bike down or into another lane. Lightning and hail can cause bodily harm, as motorcyclists will not be protected like car drivers are due to lack of structure in their vehicle.
Road Debris or Damage
Not seeing road debris or damage can be extremely harmful to motorcyclists. This includes things like potholes or other road damage. Speed bumps and railroad tracks can also cause problems. Cut grass, wet leaves, or sand could also cause a bike to slide. Oil dripping down from vehicles can cause motorcycles to lose control as well.
Poorer Stability at High Speeds
When a motorcycle is traveling at higher speeds, the motorcycle’s front end can become unstable, which can result in wobbling. This can also be as a result of tire misalignment.
A blind spot is a part of a driver’s field of vision where they cannot see. While a car or truck could be in a blind spot, it is so much easier for a motorcycle to enter a blind spot due to its small size. If motorcyclists do not ride with this in mind, they could end up in an accident.
It can be challenging for other drivers on the road to perceive the distance a motorcycle is. The size of the motorcycle can challenge drivers’ depth perception, or ability to judge how far away a motorcycle is. Drivers might also struggle to identify how fast a motorcycle is traveling. This can result in a car thinking it has enough time to turn in front of a motorcycle, leading to crashes.
The most common type of collision between cars and motorcycles is when there is a left turn at an intersection. The car making the turn may not see an oncoming motorcycle or wrongly decides that they have enough time to make the turn.
Parked cars can be a major hazard for motorcyclists. When car occupants open up their car doors without looking, they can knock into motorcycles. This can cause motorcyclists to get into accidents.
Not Taking Proper Precautions
One of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries is failure to wear a helmet. It is imperative that motorcyclists wear appropriate safety gear, such as helmets, jackets, and gloves.
Most motorcyclists are skilled, with plenty of road experience. Still, mistakes can happen, particularly with inexperienced motorcyclists. Driving a car requires a different level of skills than operating a motorcycle. Inexperienced motorcyclists are more prone to get into an accident.
Ways to Minimize Risk to Motorcyclists
Ensure Your Bike is in Good Shape
Motorcycles, like cars, require regular maintenance. Make sure it has a tune up, tires are in good shape, and there is no obvious damage. You should also fit well on the bike. Your feet should be flat on the ground when seated, and you should be able to easily reach the handlebars.
Wear Appropriate Gear
Make sure to wear the proper gear. This includes gloves, jacket, face shield, motorcycle boots, and–most importantly–a helmet. Helmets are roughly forty percent more likely to prevent death, according to the CDC. Wearing a helmet can also reduce the risk of traumatic head injuries.
Avoid Bad Weather
Sometimes, it is impossible to avoid bad weather when you are riding. But if possible, try and ride on a clear, sunny day. Consider pausing your ride if the weather takes a turn. If it is windy, attempt to ride on the side of the lane where the wind is blowing so that you will not be blown into the other lane.
Be Vigilant About Road Defects or Debris
If you see hazards, do not try to drive over them. Attempt to drive around them. Avoid areas of the roadway that are known for defects. Report these immediately to the appropriate agency. If you cannot avoid a hazard, slow down safely and carefully drive over them.
Do not swerve in and out of lanes. Stay on high alert while you are driving. Be particularly careful with vehicles that are acting as if they are trying to change lanes or vehicles signaling that they will turn left in front of you. Give yourself plenty of space and avoid tailgating other vehicles to give yourself enough time to react in the event that they slow down suddenly.
By avoiding these hazards and following these tips, Illinois motorcyclists can greatly reduce their risk of being in a collision.
Contact a Peoria Motorcycle Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible
We know that motorcycle accidents can be devastating for everyone involved. If you have been involved in a crash, don’t try to go it alone. Contact our office today for immediate legal guidance and assistance.