As temperatures continue to rise this spring, area residents and visitors will be finding ways to enjoy the warm weather. In Illinois, especially after the severe winter weather the area has experienced in early 2014, this undoubtedly includes motorcyclists hitting the road.
Because it is likely that more bikers are on the road in May than in previous months, this makes it likely that an increased number of motorcycle accidents will occur. And according to a recent news article, motorcycle safety should be a top concern for drivers this time of year.
According to some troubling statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), most fatal accidents involving motorcycles occur in the month of May. In fact, numbers from May in 2012 indicated that of the 148 crashes ending in fatalities, 78 percent involved a motorcycle. That ratio is spurring people into action in an attempt to bring some much-needed attention to a dangerous situation.Motorcycle Awareness Month
The month of May has been declared Motorcycle Awareness Month. It is promoted as a time to encourage all drivers on the roadways to be aware of their surroundings and make an effort to drive safely. Most motorcycle riders are surely aware of several tragic accidents and resulting deaths that occurred during the spring and summer months last year, and are likely similarly aware of the crashes that have occurred so far this year. Some attribute the high incidence of such accidents to the fact that motorcyclists are eager to get back on the road in the warmer months, and their anticipation is linked to carelessness.
Many of the safety precautions drivers are urged to abide by are precautions they should be taking when driving anyway. They include looking both ways when making a turn or pulling onto the roadway, avoiding tailgating, and making complete stops. An additional safety tip for drivers, specifically involving motorcyclists, is a simple one: the driver should always assume the motorcyclist does not see them.
However, it is important to remember that responsibility for road safety does not fall squarely on the shoulders of drivers. Rather, motorcycle riders must share the burden. Bikers are advised not to ride in blind spots, not to swerve in and out of traffic, to use special caution when driving in bad weather, and to avoid large trucks such as semis and RVs that may create a crosswind. Obviously, motorcyclists (and all drivers) should also avoid operating their bikes under the influence, which can lead to accidents as well.
According to Illinois law, motorcycle drivers and their passengers must be protected by glasses, goggles, or a windshield. It is also of note that IDOT offers a free program in motorcycle rider safety. As an additional incentive, participants in the program may be eligible for discounts on their insurance if they complete the program.
The attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC have successful experience representing clients who were injured in motorcycle accidents. Contact an Illinois injury attorney today to schedule a consultation if you have been involved in an accident in the Chicago area. Our offices are located in Lombard, Bloomingdale, Joliet, St. Charles, and Chicago.
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