According to studies by the federal government, 30 times more motorcyclists died than motorists in 2009 -- when calculated per traveled mile. There are significant numbers of motorcycles traveling on Illinois roads, and there are many reasons why people prefer this mode of transport. The fun and sense of freedom, along with lower transportation costs contribute to their popularity. Motorcycles with enhanced performance capabilities may encourage quick acceleration, risky maneuvers and excessive speed that could result in a motorcycle accident.
While the steering and braking systems of cars often allow for safe movement during emergency situations, motorcycles are not as stable, and riders often fail to control their motorcycles when emergency braking or swerving is required. The risk of death is significant in any motorcycle accident, as a rider -- or passenger -- usually bears the brunt of the impact with their bodies, even if a high rate of speed was not a factor. Understandably, being a passenger on a motorcycle is just as dangerous as being the driver -- if not more so.
Studies show that almost half of all motorcycle fatalities occur when no other vehicles are involved. Motorcyclists who lose control and leave the road, often smashing into a stationary object, account for many fatal motorcycle accidents. It was also found that the majority of these deaths involved high rates of speed and/or drunk driving. The number of fatal motorcycle accidents is cause for concern as it is ever increasing, even though fatalities in motor vehicle accidents are declining.
Illinois residents who have lost a loved one who was a passenger on a motorcycle have the right to file a claim against the person who operated the motorcycle. It may be beneficial to consult with an attorney to assess the viability of a wrongful death claim, and if negligence can be shown as the cause of the motorcycle accident, a civil court may award a monetary judgment to cover end-of-life expenses. A visit to our personal injury website may provide more information.
Source: iihs.org, "Motorcycles", , Sept. 22, 2014