With summertime in full swing, many Chicagoans are excited to take their motorcycles out of storage and enjoy the open air. Our attorneys agree that this should be a safe and enjoyable time for all to take advantage of the warm summer weather, and for that reason is why we wish to address motorcycle safety issues and concerns with our readers. By abiding by safety as a motorcycle rider, or by being aware of safety concerns as someone who drives a passenger vehicle, we can all be safer both operating or around motorcycles.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation website discusses important issues for many motorcyclists. For instance, many drivers of passenger vehicles comment after being involved in accidents with motorcycles that they never even saw the motorcyclist next to them. For this reason, it is important that motorcyclists stay visible to other drivers, and that other drivers maintain a vigilant look-out for them. This means that both drivers and motorcycle operators should keep a safe distance between them and all other vehicles on the road.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation also acknowledges that the summer season is the busiest for motorcycle riding and the most important time to address safety concerns. In their safety publication called “Pretend You Are Invisible”, they address the issue of how many drivers do not notice motorcycles because they are distracted or simply lack expectation that a motorcyclist will be present. As our readers know, as vigilant as you may be, you can never stop another driver from acting negligently, so it is important that motorcyclists practice defensive driving skills to best protect themselves. By acknowledging and accepting that they can’t be seen, or pretending they are invisible as the article is titled, motorcyclists are much more cognizant and aware of ever-present dangers and constantly on alert. In addition to this vigilance, motorcyclists should do all they can to make themselves obvious to other drivers, such as wearing bright clothing and a light colored helmet, always having their headlight on, and using their high beam when they can.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reminds motorists share the road. Drivers should be aware that they share the roads with motorcyclists and respect their safety. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, should do everything they can to prevent themselves from being involved in an accident by avoiding texting, talking on the phone, speeding, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.The percentage of intoxicated motorcyclists in fatal crashes is higher than the percentage of intoxicated drivers in other crashes. Sober driving is important for all drivers, but motorcyclists should especially be safe in this manner because driving a motorcycle requires balance and coordination, which impaired drivers do not possess. Lacking these necessary skills to drive while impaired is what leads to many accidents. Furthermore, when accidents do occur, whether at the fault of the motorcyclist or another driver, it is imperative that the motorcyclist be wearing a helmet. In 2009 alone, helmet use saved 1829 lives nationwide.
It is also important that motorcyclists be knowledgeable about their vehicle and the rules of the road. It is difficult to protect one ‘s self if not educated, and it is also negligent to not possess the necessary safety knowledge. There are also many organizations local to Chicago and the Greater Chicago Area that offer courses on motorcycle safety. For instance, Northern Illinois University has its own motorcycle safety project and offers courses so that motorcycle drivers may learn to drive and stay safe.
Knowing all these safety tips and statistics, our attorneys hope to keep this enjoyable season an enjoyable one. Staying knowledgeable and knowing how to keep yourself and others safe on the roads can prevent motor vehicle accidents. However, if you or someone you love is ever injured in such an accident due to another driver’s reckless behavior or negligence, you can hold that individual liable in a lawsuit. Our attorneys have handled motor vehicle lawsuits for over 20 years, and we pride ourselves on helping injured plaintiffs obtain the fair and just compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering. Call us today for a free consultation, and we would be happy to see if we can help you as well.