They are a proud part of the Windy Cindy transportation scene, and they deserve our appreciation and respect.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are disconcertingly common in Chicago and all across the state of Illinois. Bikers are hurt to no fault of their own every day here, owing in part to the vulnerable nature of their vehicles and the careless disregard displayed by so many other motorists.
Driver negligence is a real concern for bikers, whose vehicles offer almost no protection from the terrible force of an impact. Motorcycle riders are often injured more gravely because their vehicles do not have the features of four-wheeled vehicles, such as airbags, steel frames, and seat belts. Compare a four-wheeled passenger vehicle (3,000-4,000 pounds) or a semi-truck (up to 80,000 pounds) to a motorcycle (200-300 pounds), and you can see from that perspective as well why motorcyclists are so vulnerable. The bottom line is motorcyclists are 29x more likely to be killed in a crash than people in cars.
Indeed, Chicago motorcycle accidents are known to produce horrible, unthinkable injuries. With just a small impact, a motorcyclist can be thrown clear of their motorcycle. Once ejected, the motorcyclist skids across the road, developing road rash generally, all the while remaining vulnerable to being run over by other vehicles. In many cases, the occupants do not survive. Those who do make it through the ordeal may face a lifetime of suffering, hardship, and impairment.
Did you know that motorcyclists are 29x more likely to die in a crash than people in cars? Here are a few tips to get back home safe when you’re out on a bike ride.
No, helmets are not required by state law, but they do save lives. Since 2002, more than 25,000 bikers have escaped death by wearing motorcycle helmets, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Furthermore, the most commonly impacted area of the head in a motorcycle crash is the chin (about 20%), so not only should DOT-compliant helmets be worn, but full-face helmets are definitely recommended.
Slow down and ensure approaching cars make eye contact or otherwise acknowledge you. Always turn your lights on regardless of the time of day, and wear bright colors–even if it’s just a flag or helmet. Statistics show that 3/4 of motorcycle crashes are caused by other drivers not seeing the motorcyclist. Be seen!
In the Windy City, wind can definitely be a safety factor for motorcycles, along with unexpected rain or snow. Especially for longer rides, check the weather and plan accordingly.
Speeding is the cause of 1/3 of fatal motorcycle crashes, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It’s easy to speed when driving a motorcycle, no doubt about it, but considering a riders’ vulnerability, speeding is far more deadly on two wheels. Slow down. It will also help other drivers to see you better.
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