As the weather warms up throughout Iowa and Illinois, more and more riders will be hitting the road this summer. Unfortunately, as temperatures rise, so too do motorcycle accidents. May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and WKC Law Firm is highlighting some of the biggest safety risks to motorcycle riders throughout the Quad Cities.
According to the Iowa State University Institute for Transportation, nearly 50% of all motorcycle accidents occurred in the months of June, July, and August in 2020. Per 2019 statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), Illinois saw about 37% of its motorcycle accident injuries and deaths between July, August, and September.
With sobering numbers like these, now is the perfect time to brush up on your motorcycle safety, whether you ride a motorcycle or drive a car.
How Cars Threaten Motorcyclists in the Quad Cities
Motorcycle accidents caused by cars are a huge threat to motorcyclists in the Quad Cities. Understanding how and why collisions happen can prepare you for situations you may face on the road. Today, our personal injury lawyers explain the top five ways cars cause motorcycle accidents.
#1: Making a Left Turn into a Motorcycle’s Path
Left-turn accidents are the number one type of motorcycle accidents caused by cars. Most of the time they occur when a motorcyclist is proceeding straight through an intersection and another vehicle turning left does not see the motorcyclist or tries to beat a red light. These accidents can also occur when the motorcyclist is attempting to pass or overtake another vehicle.
#2: Being Unable to Judge a Motorcycle’s Speed or Distance
According to a study conducted by Texas Tech University, the human brain has a tendency to interpret small, near objects as farther away than larger, farther objects. Because motorcycles are so much smaller than cars (and because cars far outnumber motorcycles on the road), even careful drivers may be prone to misjudging the distance and speed of a motorcycle, regardless of whether they are traveling in the same or opposite directions.
#3: Making Sudden Lane Changes Without Signaling
All cars have blind spots, and the smaller the vehicle, the more likely it is to end up in a driver’s blind spots. For this reason, motorcyclists are especially at risk of being sideswiped by a car or truck. When drivers use their signals properly to indicate a lane change, check their side and rear view mirrors, and change lanes at a safe speed, motorcyclists are usually able to adjust to these traffic changes. But when cars make sudden lane changes and don’t use a turn signal or check their blind spots, motorcycle riders often pay the price.
#4: Following Too Closely
Motorists often forget that passenger cars, large trucks, and motorcycles require different amounts of time to come to a complete stop. Generally speaking, most motorcycles can stop more quickly than the average car. This makes tailgating—an already dangerous driving habit—that much more treacherous for motorcyclists. While rear-end collisions at relatively low speeds don’t usually result in serious injuries for car passengers, the same kind of accident can easily result in the wrongful death of a motorcyclist.
#5: Speeding, Distracted Driving, or Drunk Driving
Those who ride motorcycles are already at a disadvantage compared to other drivers. They are harder to see, have less protection, and drivers aren’t always on the lookout for them. When you add speeding, driving too fast for conditions, distracted or inattentive driving, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the mix, the chances of motorcycle accidents caused by cars increases exponentially. Other factors like the time of day, road conditions, visibility, and driver experience or fatigue can influence the risk of accidents as well.
Legal Options After a Quad Cities Motorcycle Accident
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island, Moline, or East Moline through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to significant compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Before you accept the first settlement offer from a car insurance company (or if a car insurance company has already denied your claim), reach out to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at WKC Law Firm.
Our attorneys offer free, no risk consultations to all personal injury victims. We’ll review the details of your case, help you establish the value of your claim, and provide all your legal options so that you can make an informed decision. Call us now at (309) 794-1515, connect with one of our LiveChat agents, or request your free consultation online.
Our legal team is available for home and hospital visits, in addition to evening and weekend appointments. In addition, should you decide to use our services, you won’t pay us any fees unless we obtain a financial recovery on your behalf. Contact us today!