Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accident

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This year’s unusually warm autumn season in Illinois has caused a larger amount of people to travel on roadways throughout the state, resulting in the number of traffic deaths spiking by 9% as compared to this time last year. Our personal injury attorneys learned that according to a report by Chicago CBS Local, 923 people have been killed in car, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents as of this week. This is a significant increase from last years total of fatalities recorded through December. Although state officials have not linked the economy to the increase in accidents, many believe lower fuel prices are contributing to more drivers on the road, and thus, more opportunities for accidents.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Secretary states that roughly 10% of the state’s traffic fatalities this year are tentatively tied to distracted driving, including texting or talking on the phone while driving, despite many public awareness campaigns in place. “Distracted driving is playing a role,” the Secretary said. “We also have noticed that we’ve seen a 70% increase in motorcycle related fatalities . . . [The spike in fatalities] is part of a national trend and part of it could be that we saw increase in travel…” The report says that State Police have also dealt with an increase in DUI and wrong-way driving accidents in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, causing a significant amount of personal injury and fatalities.

Our law firm read that 54 electronic billboards on and near Chicago area expressways are used to feature a running tally of deaths due to motor vehicle accidents, updated in real time. “The billboard campaign that we have going on is to use our ‘dynamic message signs’ to let people know the current fatality count. I know there might be some controversial questions about that,” the IDOT Secretary said. “The idea is to really grab attention so that drivers can see what they do on the road really can make a difference.”

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A DuPage County couple was killed on Saturday night after their motorcycle was read-ended at a stoplight, according to Chicago Sun-Times. The motorcycle’s 43-year old driver and 41-year old passenger from Naperville were waiting to turn left at the stoplight when a pickup truck crashed into the back of them. Both motorcyclists were ejected from the vehicle and were pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities reported that neither the driver nor the passenger was wearing a helmet. The 21-year old driver of the pick-up truck was uninjured and was later charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. An accident reconstruction team was called to the area shortly afterwards, and investigations of the crash are currently ongoing.

From the perspective of our motorcycle accident lawyers, motorcycle riders who are stopped at traffic lights or are traveling at slow speeds are at a very high risk for being rear-ended. Rear-end collisions are especially dangerous and often traumatic for motorcyclists, who are more susceptible to injury or fatality than drivers inside of a car or truck. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Fatality Analysis Reporting System” found that cars and trucks are almost equally likely to rear-end motorcycles. It also found that frontal impacts and impacts with fixed objects are two of the most harmful events in fatal motorcycle crashes. Even so, drivers and passengers continue to sustain serious injury when involved in rear-end collisions.

In this accident, neither motorcyclist was reported to have been wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. As most motorcyclists involved in serious accident die of head injuries, wearing a helmet at all times is vital. Many believe that helmets will reduce visibility or impair hearing while riding, however, these statements are both false. The risk of head injury would be reduced by 69%, and the risk of death would decrease by 37%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thus, there is substantial evidence that increasing helmet use would save many lives and help to significantly avoid personal injury.

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Many of us have heard the old phrase, “There are two types of motorcyclists: those that have crashed, and those that are going to crash.” While many motorcyclists detest this statement, others believe it serves as a reminder of how dangerous riding motorcycles can be. Drivers of any type of vehicle, including passenger vehicles, semi trucks, or motorcycles themselves take part in collisions with motorcycles every day around the country. The chance of these collisions taking place in combination with the extreme vulnerability of motorcyclists often leaves them more prone to serious injury or fatality.

Because of the already high risks involved with driving or riding on a motorcycle, it is saddening for our motorcycle accident law firm to learn about motorcyclists who choose to drive under the influence of alcohol. Though drinking and driving is a serious concern for the drivers of all vehicles, the number of motorcycle deaths associated with alcohol-impaired driving has been increasing in recent years (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

Specifically, accident data from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) shows that motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes are 2.5 times more likely to have consumed alcohol just before the accident than passenger vehicle drivers. In 2009, the number of alcohol-impaired motorcyclists in fatal crashes increased by 10% while the number of alcohol-impaired drivers of passenger cars declined by 6%. The majority of the alcohol-impaired accident fatalities were males, with accidents most commonly taking place between 6-9pm on the weekend.

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Our motorcycle accident lawyers have previously discussed how motorcyclists are too commonly victims of serious accidents caused by inattentive or negligent motorists, in addition to the steps drivers can take to avoid an accident with a motorcyclist. However, the tables were turned last Saturday when a semi-truck and motorcycle collision left the motorcyclist at fault.

Newlenox.patch.com states that the accident took place around 6:35pm on Interstate 80 near Harlem Avenue. Preliminary investigation results indicate a semi-truck was in the far right lane of westbound I-80 and collided with a motorcyclist that was entering the interstate from the southbound Harlem Avenue ramp. Illinois State Police say the motorcycle struck the front, right corner of the truck, causing the motorcycle’s driver to lose control.

The motorcycle driver was taken to a local hospital, his condition remaining unknown. His passenger, a 22-year old Joliet woman, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Will County Sheriff’s Office. The semi-truck driver remained uninjured. The report states that it is not known what exactly caused the collision, but police investigations revealed that the motorcycle driver misjudged his speed and distance away from the semi-truck when entering the interstate, therefore causing him to strike the semi and lose control. No charges have been filed or tickets issued as of last week.

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Our law firm understands that collisions between semi truck drivers and other motorists remain one of the most devastating types of accidents on Illinois roadways. When these accidents involve motorcycles, the results can be extremely severe to those involved, especially the motorcyclist. This was the case on Wednesday when a motorcyclist was killed after a semi-truck tractor struck her from behind. The 57-year old motorcyclist was westbound near the U.S. Route 51 and Illinois State Route 16 at 2:00pm when she slowed to turn right into the Rosebud parking lot. According to the preliminary Illinois State Police report, the semi-truck hit her as she was turning, causing her to be thrown from her vehicle.

Pananewsonline.net reports that the motorcyclist died of injuries she sustained in the accident. She was pronounced dead on arrival in St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. The 34-year old semi-truck driver was uninjured and was later ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The accident remains under investigation by state police.

From the perspective of our motorcycle accident attorneys, motorcycle riders who are stopped or are traveling at a slow speed in preparation to turn are at a very high risk for being hit from behind by other vehicles. Rear-end collisions are especially dangerous and often traumatic for motorcyclists. Due to the larger size and weight of semi trucks in combination with the smaller size and vulnerability of motorcycles, the likelihood of the motorcyclist sustaining serious injury during a collision occurring greatly increases.

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A Greene County couple is dead after their motorcycle was read-ended at a traffic light on Saturday night. According to Kmov.com, the motorcycle was stopped in traffic, attempting to turn left onto Kane Road, when a pick-up truck crashed into the back of it. The motorcycle’s 46-year old driver and 42-year old passenger were both ejected from the vehicle. Authorities pronounced them dead at the scene and reported neither the driver or the passenger was wearing a helmet. The 21-year old driver of the pick-up truck was uninjured and was later charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. An accident reconstruction team was called to southbound US 67 at Kane road just after 7pm, and investigations into the crash are currently ongoing.

From the perspective of our motorcycle accident attorneys, motorcycle riders who are stopped for a traffic light or are traveling at a slow speed are at a very high risk for being rear-ended. This particular type of collision is especially dangerous and often traumatic for motorcyclists, who are more vulnerable than drivers inside of a car or truck.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Fatality Analysis Reporting System” found that cars and trucks are almost equally likely to rear-end motorcycles. It also found that frontal impacts and impacts with fixed objects are two of the most harmful events in fatal motorcycle crashes; even so, rear-ended collisions continue to lead to injury and fatality to drivers and passengers involved in the accident.

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A woman died in a motorcycle accident last week when she struck a semi-trailer on Route 20 in Elgin Township. The 21-year old from Sycamore stopped on Plank Road facing north while waiting to make a turn east on Route 20 before the accident took place. According to Crystallake.patch.com, the motorcycle began turning, accelerated rapidly, then crossed the roadway and struck the semi-trailer. The woman was thrown from the motorcycle as a result of the impact and was pronounced dead at the scene. The Kane County Sheriff’s office stated the driver of the semi-truck was uninjured. No tickets have been issued thus far; the accident remains under investigation by numerous detectives and members of the Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team, as well as Illinois State Police Truck Inspectors.

Our motorcycle accident attorneys understand that collisions between semi-truck drivers and other motorists remain some of the most devastating types of accidents, especially when these accidents involve motorcycles. Due to the larger size and weight of semi-trucks in combination with the smaller size and vulnerability of motorcycles, the likelihood of a serious injury during a collision occurring greatly increases. While many accidents may occur due to driver negligence, others simply occur because of the difficulty and potential dangers that go along with driving semi-trucks or motorcycles. Therefore, although many accidents are unavoidable, we would like to offer truck and motorcycle drivers some critical steps that can be taken to help drive defensively and to avoid being involved in any motor-vehicle collision this summer.

Based on the above report, it is always important to be cautious when turning. It is easy for motorcyclists to immediately accelerate at a rapid speed when turning, which increases the likelihood that the motorcycle can tilt on its side or travel in an undesired direction. Furthermore, as a truck driver begins a turn, he will usually first swing in the opposite direction, sometimes into the next lane, to complete the turn. It is best for motorcyclists and all other vehicles to avoid the truck altogether when this is occurring. All motorists should always place a significant amount of distance between their vehicles and semi-trucks on highways or larger roadways. They should also be cautious when passing semi-trucks because of their limited visibility. Finally, as always, taking extra care when driving in poor weather conditions is essential.

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Kmov.com recently reported that a Greene County couple is dead after their motorcycle was rear-ended at a traffic light on Saturday night. A motorcycle accident attorney at our firm learned that according to authorities, a Harley Davison was stopped in traffic and was attempting to turn left onto Kane road when a pickup truck crashed into it from behind.

The 46-year old driver and the 42-year old passenger were both ejected from the motorcycle and were both pronounced dead at the scene. The 21-year old pickup truck driver was not injured and was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. After an accident reconstruction team was called to southbound US 67 at Kane road shortly after the accident, authorities were able to report that neither the driver of passenger of the motorcycle was wearing a helmet. Investigations into the crash are ongoing.

Our attorneys understand that more people in Illinois have begun to rely on motorcycles as a means of transportation, and fatal accidents involving motorcycles are greatly increasing as a result. A primary reason for the severity of these accidents has to do with helmet laws, or lack thereof, in the state of Illinois. Officially enacted in 1970, Illinois does not have any helmet laws in place for motorcycle drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2011, 83% of the people who died from motorcycle crashes in Illinois were not wearing a helmet. This is among the highest percent nationally. In the United States, Illinois ranks 47th for lives saved and economic costs saved due to helmet use. Shockingly, compared to the 36 lives saved in states with a Universal Helmet Law in place in 2010, only 4 were saved in Illinois. Additionally, states with a Universal Helmet Law saved about $73 million dollars, while Illinois only saved $9 million.

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As we are approaching the summer season, more people in Illinois have begun to rely on motorcycles as a means of transportation, and as a result, fatal accidents involving motorcycles are greatly increasing as well. One of our motorcycle accident lawyers recently read a report by Journalstandard.com about a man killed in a motorcycle crash at the intersection of Stephenson Street and Galena Avenue in Freeport. Police say the 25-year-old resident of Freeport was driving his motorcycle southbound on Galena Avenue, while the 32-year old driver of a passenger vehicle was traveling northbound. The accident occurred when the vehicle turned west onto Stephenson Street in front of the motorcycle. Police say the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet and was taken to a nearby hospital. He later died of injuries sustained in the accident, and the driver of the passenger vehicle was cited for failure to yield at an intersection.

The news report continues to list many motorcycle crash statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). In 2010, 343,924 motorcycles were registered in Illinois, representing a 73 percent increase compared to the 198,444 registered in 1999. Many believe the increases in registration may be due to the desire to save money on fuel. Also in 2010, a total of 132 fatal crashes involving motorcycles occurred, killing a total of 130 people, representing a 27 percent increase compared to the 103 motorcyclists killed in 1999, states IDOT.

Journalstandard.com states that recently, a significant amount of motorcycle accidents have occurred in Northwest Illinois. A spokesman from IDOT stated, “We have seen an increase in motorcycle registrations and motorcycle crashes over time, for a variety of reasons. That’s why we believe it’s vitally important for motorists and motorcyclists to pay special attention when they are on the road during the warmer months.”

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A serious accident between a pick-up truck and a motorcycle left one person dead and another with life threatening injures on Saturday evening. Our truck accident attorneys read a report by Dailyregister.com detailing the accident, which occurred at 3pm on North Randall Road at the intersection with Westfield Drive near Elgin. According to the Elgin Sheriff’s Office, the accident took place when a pick up truck traveling north on Randall Road failed to make a complete stop prior to entering Westfield Drive. The driver of the truck allegedly did not see a motorcycle traveling on Westfield Drive until just before impact. After the collision, the motorcycle left the road and overturned in a small ditch. Brake patterns on the road have led police to believe the driver of the motorcycle was attempting to swerve into the southbound lane of traffic while braking.

The report states that the driver and his wife who were both riding on the motorcycle were unresponsive at the scene. Both were taken to a nearby medical center and were later transported to other hospitals. The driver died shortly after, while his wife remains hospitalized in critical condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Our lawyers understand that collisions between truck drivers and other motorists remain one of the most devastating types of accidents on Illinois roadways, especially when these accidents involve motorcycles. Due to the larger size and weight of trucks in combination with the smaller size of motorcycles, the likelihood of a serious injury during a collision occurring greatly increases. With a large number of motorcyclists traveling on Illinois roadways, we want to urge the public to be more cautious when driving near them this spring.