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.”
Our law firm agrees that because of the increase in motorcycle drivers on the road, using caution while behind the wheel this summer is essential. Motorcyclists always need to be sure to drive defensively and remain cautious around other vehicles on the road. Proper attire should be worn to make the motorcyclist more visible, including bright clothing and helmets. They should also keep their motorcycle’s headlights on and stay out of other driver’s blind spots. Finally, drivers of trucks and passenger vehicles should exercise great caution while turning or merging in order to avoid colliding with motorcycles.
Those involved in accidents between motorists and motorcyclists 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, we are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action. Find out what rights may be available to you.