Now that the weather is (finally) warming up in Illinois, motorcyclists are taking to the roads more often. Although motorcycle accidents are less common than auto accidents, they are considerably more severe. Motorcyclists are not covered by the same protective barriers as cars and other passenger vehicles, making motorcycle accidents more likely to result in serious injuries or death than car accidents. The Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC are dedicated to promoting traffic safety and keeping the roads safe for motorcyclists.
The following are five safety tips for motorcyclists to remember as they dust off their bikes and take to the roads:
- Never operate a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol. Drunk driving of any kind is extremely dangerous and can lead to serious motor vehicle accidents, but recent crash data indicates that a high number of motorcyclists ride while intoxicated. As we reported last summer, an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) press release indicated that the percentage of drunk motorcycle riders (motorcycle operators with a BAC of 0.08 or higher) involved in fatal crashes during late afternoon and early evening hours are more than double that of drunk drivers of any other type of passenger vehicle.
- Always wear a helmet. One in five motorcycle accidents results in head or neck injuries, which can be reduced by the proper wearing of an approved helmet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a motorcyclist not wearing a helmet is 40% more likely to die from a head injury if in a motorcycle crash than a motorcyclist who was wearing a helmet. The CDC estimates that helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69% and, in 2008 alone, more than 1,800 lives were saved by the use of helmets.
- Avoid tailgating and lane splitting. Lane splitting is the dangerous practice of moving between lanes of vehicles that are moving in the same direction. Lane splitting is also referred to as lane sharing, whitelining, filtering, or white-striping and it is illegal in most states. Lane splitting is a common cause of accidents and, accordingly, most states prohibit lane splitting though the laws of each state vary on the specific practices that are illegal.
- Obey the rules of the road. Comply with posted speed limits, avoid tailgating, and use extra caution when approaching road hazards such as railroad tracks, cattle guards, slippery car fluids, gravel, and potholes.
- Wear protective clothing. Wear upper body clothing that includes bright colors or reflective materials so that other motorists can more easily see you. Illinois law requires motorcyclists to wear protective eye gear, unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen.
At Ankin Law Office, LLC, our Chicago auto accident lawyers are dedicated to keeping the roads safe for motorcyclists and protecting the rights of the victims of motorcycle accidents. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, contact us today at (312) 600-0000 to schedule your free consultation to learn how we can help you recover money damages following a motorcycle accident.