Distracted Driving: A Leading Cause of Motorcycle Injuries and Fatalities

Friday, April 29, 2022

Distracted Driving: A Leading Cause of Motorcycle Injuries and Fatalities

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Each year motorcycle crashes claim thousands of lives. In a recent year, 5,104 motorcyclists lost their lives in the U.S.Motorcycle collisions are at an all-time high, causing these deaths and injuries to remain a public health concern. One of the major causes of serious motorcycle crashes is distracted driving, and such careless drivers should be accountable for the losses of injured motorcyclists.

If you were injured in a motorcycle collision, you need to contact an experienced Chicago motorcycle accident attorney. The legal team of Malman Law is here to guide you during this difficult and confusing time.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving refers to doing another activity that takes the driver’s attention away from driving. Anytime you take your attention away from the road, you are driving distracted. This can include basic activities like adjusting the radio dial, setting your GPS navigational device, or adjusting the thermostat, to more hazardous actions like taking a selfie, applying makeup, or eating and drinking.

There are three main types of distractions:

  • Visual: Taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: Taking your mind off your driving

Laws To Prevent Distracted Drivers

The state of Illinois has made numerous efforts to mitigate distracted drivers. Beginning in 2010, Illinois instated a law that prohibited texting while driving, followed in 2014 by the state prohibiting the use of all hand-held cell phones while driving, with the exception of emergency calls. However, Bluetooth and hands-free devices are allowed for drivers 19 and older.

As of July 1, 2019, the state cracked down even further, forbidding the use of all “electronic communication devices,” not just limiting the law to the use of cell phones. Under the recently enacted law, an offense will be treated as a moving violation, with the first offense starting at $75 and subsequent violations escalating to as high as $150.

What Risks Does a Distracted Driver Pose to Motorcyclists?

In collisions involving a motorcycle and a car, the driver of the car is at fault about two-thirds of the time. Distracted drivers can hit a motorcycle if the driver:

  • Is taking a turn and simply does not notice the motorcyclist
  • Misjudges the speed of the motorcyclist
  • Does not see the motorcyclist due to a blind spot
  • Does not anticipate a motorcyclist’s sudden maneuver
  • Does not realize that the motorcyclist is downshifting instead of braking

What Should You Do If You Were in a Motorcycle Crash Caused by a Distracted Driver?

If you were hit by a distracted driver, several steps should be taken:

  • Don’t panic
  • Check yourself for injuries
  • Check on the other parties and your passengers (if any)
  • Call and talk to the police
  • Exchange information
  • Take pictures or videos
  • Get medical attention right away
  • Seek a legal evaluation of your rights from a motorcycle accident lawyer

Contact an Experienced Chicago Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

Malman Law knows your rights when it comes to motorcycle accidents. If you were hit by a distracted driver, you need someone who can advocate for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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