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.
Our attorneys want to remind you that even with a blood alcohol level as low as .01-.04%, riders can suffer from reduced judgment, inattentiveness, and an increased sense of false confidence. The MSF estimates that even the least amount of alcohol increases a rider’s chance of crashing five times.
As of last Sunday, the Illinois Department of Transportation and State Police are working together to keep motorcyclists safe with new campaigns called “Ride Sober Or Get Pulled Over” and “Ride Smart, Choose Wisely.” The campaigns are designed to target both car and motorcycle drivers to make smart decisions on the road and to always attempt to remain safe.
As we are amidst the summer season, more people in Illinois rely on motorcycles as a means of transportation, and as a result, fatal accidents involving motorcycles are greatly increasing as well. Those involved in a motorcycle accident may have legal recourse available to them. If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damages as a result of a motorcycle accident, please contact our law firm for more information.