As the weather gets warmer, motorcycle riders throughout Illinois may push their bikes out of storage to get ready to ride. As of 2017, Illinois has 352,318 motorcycles registered, which ranks the state as No. 6 in the nation in registrations.
In 2018, the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Crash Facts reported almost 3,000 motorcycle accidents, 119 of which resulted in motorcyclist fatalities. 811 riders received A-injuries. A-injuries prevent the injured person from taking part in his or her usual activities because of severe lacerations, broken bones, and brain or abdominal injuries.
Motorcycles and their riders do not get the complete coverage of a metal box, and they are lightweight, with the heaviest bikes weighing in at around 700 pounds. Because of these features, motorcycle accidents may be more likely to result in severe injury or death. Certain hazardous conditions may include:
1. Unsafe roads
For the driver of a car or truck, a bump in the road may only lead to a slight jolt. For a motorcyclist, it may mean laying down the bike. Uneven road surfaces, wet pavement and oil slicks may lead to difficult maneuvering, no traction or slipping.
2. Vehicle blind spots
All vehicles have blind spots that may make safe driving difficult. The number of blind spots may differ for each vehicle, with large trucks having more than cars. Motorcycle riders also have blind spots that vary depending on the bike.
3. Minimal experience
For some, riding a motorcycle may prove more difficult than driving a car, and riders learning to drive a bike may be more prone to accidents than experienced riders. Balancing the bike, shifting gears and watching for traffic at the same time requires practice.
4. Risky behavior
Some motorcycles, like sport bikes, may encourage a rider to engage in speeding and fast acceleration. Popping wheelies on a crowded highway may not only invite citations from the local police, but they may also cause injury or death if the rider loses control.