30 Jan, 2024

Top Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Illinois

Author Todd A. Strong
Motorbike accident on the city street.
Motorbike accident on the city street.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Illinois

Compared to those riding inside cars or trucks, motorcyclists are generally at far greater risk for serious injuries from accidents. In 2020, 82,528 motorcycle riders were injured in accidents. Illinois had 153 accidents that year, out of which 13% were fatal.

The high number of people who sustain injuries while riding motorcycles indicates the dangers that riders face. 35% of fatalities involving motorcycles occur at intersections, which are considered to be high-risk areas for motorcyclists. This is attributed to the tendency of drivers to check for other cars at intersections, often overlooking the presence of a motorcycle. To protect yourself, be sure to be aware of the most dangerous intersections in Bloomington.

Despite motorcycles making up only 3% of all registered street-legal vehicles, they account for 14% of traffic fatalities. This statistic highlights the risks that motorcyclists face on the roads compared to car drivers.

Common Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can cause a range of injuries, including catastrophic injuries. A catastrophic injury is an injury that causes extreme pain, suffering, or disability.

Below are some injuries commonly resulting from motorcycle wrecks:

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

Motorcycle accidents can result in a severe brain injury if the rider's head strikes an object or experiences sudden stops, causing the brain to collide with the skull. Such brain injuries can lead to conditions ranging from concussions to cognitive impairment, coma, or even death.

Spinal Cord Injuries

If the spinal cord gets injured due to a collision, it may lead to paralysis. This kind of severe injury is likely to cause permanent disability for the person affected.

Internal Injuries

The force and trauma of motorcycle accidents make internal injuries common. For example, this includes injuries caused by a hard hit that doesn't break the skin, known as blunt-force trauma. It also includes injuries caused by sharp objects, such as broken glass, that penetrate the skin, known as penetration trauma.

Fractures

The force generated during a motorcycle accident can lead to fractures and broken bones. This kind of impact usually impacts the legs, arms, collarbone, ribs, and wrists. Although most broken bones can heal with proper treatment, some fractures can cause long-term complications or disability.

Limb Amputations

In some cases, injuries sustained to a person's limbs during a motorcycle accident may not be treatable through surgery, or the spread of infection may not be curable. In such instances, amputation may be the only option available to save the victim's life. The person may require additional help, such as prosthetics, wheelchairs, and physical therapy, to adapt to his or her new life.

Psychological Trauma

The aftermath of a motorcycle accident may be just as emotionally damaging as physical injuries. Accident victims may experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety.

Road rash

When a motorcyclist comes into contact with the road surface, he or she can suffer skin injuries caused by abrasion, known as road rash. Prompt medical attention is often required to treat this type of injury, as it is highly susceptible to infections and can result in permanent scarring.

Long-Term Impact of Serious Injuries for Victims

A serious injury or the loss of a loved one can result in long-lasting physical, emotional, and financial burdens.

Physical Effects of a Motorcycle Accident

In the event of a motorcycle collision, riders may suffer from a range of severe injuries that could lead to long-term physical consequences. Effects of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident include:

  • Peripheral Neuropathy resulting from damage to the peripheral nervous system can cause tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, paralysis, organ dysfunction, and respiratory problems. These symptoms can all pose long-lasting challenges for motorcycle accident victims.
  • A traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can have varying effects on individuals, often leading to impaired cognitive abilities, seizures, vision and hearing problems, chronic pain, and disturbances in sleep and eating habits. A TBI can also cause prolonged loss of consciousness.
  • The severity of spinal cord injuries can result in permanent paralysis, affecting bodily functions below the point of injury.
  •  After a neck injury, the soft tissue damage may not seem to be life-threatening at first, but it can cause chronic pain, nervous system damage, and issues with discs and joints.
  • Traumatic amputation refers to losing a limb due to an accident, injury, or any other form of trauma. This causes physical shock and leads to complications such as phantom pain and infection from open wounds. The profound impact of such an event on a person's life is immense, necessitating legal support.

Psychological Consequences

Motorcycle accidents can have severe consequences not just for the victims but also their loved ones. Apart from physical injuries, motorcycle accidents can also have psychological repercussions. Victims, especially those with traumatic brain injuries, are at a higher risk of developing depression.

The emotional impact of the injuries can extend to intimate relationships, causing disruptions that can affect the victim's connection with their partner. Motorcycle accidents may lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), causing lasting aversions to certain activities like riding motorcycles.

Financial Consequences

The impact of a motorcycle accident can go beyond physical and emotional tolls, often leading to financial hardships. This is mainly due to the high costs associated with treating motorcycle accident injuries.

Moreover, the effect of physical limitations on an individual's work capacity is an essential consideration. Severe physical trauma or injuries, such as paralysis from the waist down, can render the victim unable to work. This can significantly impact family finances, especially if they are the primary breadwinner.

Even temporary impairments can lead to a few months of absence from work, leading to financial insecurity for the victim and their family. Additionally, accumulating medical debts can potentially harm credit scores.

Top Causes for Motorcycle Accidents

Lack of Visibility

Motorcycles are often caught in between larger vehicles such as cars, trucks, and vans because of their compact size. Getting caught between vehicles can make it difficult for motorcyclists to see the road ahead or their surroundings, as well as for other drivers to see them. The most common places where this happens are intersections, between buildings and parked cars, and even behind or next to large shrubs or trees.

Road Hazards

Loose gravel, uneven road surfaces, and railway tracks are major contributors to motorcycle accidents due to a motorcycle's instability.

Speeding and Reckless Driving

Speeding and reckless driving are among the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. These accidents can happen when either motorists or motorcyclists drive aggressively, speed, drive while distracted, or tailgate the vehicle in front of them.

Motorcycles have less stability than cars, and high speeds can make them even more challenging to control. Higher speeds mean less time that a motorcyclist has to react to situations, increases stopping distances, and makes accidents more severe.

Failure to Yield Right of Way

One of the most common causes of accidents involving motorcycles is drivers failing to yield to the right-of-way. Failure to yield often happens when drivers don't notice motorcycles at intersections while changing lanes, when lane splitting, or when merging, which can lead to collisions.

Why Motorcycle Accident Victims Should Know Their Rights

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you have the right to receive compensation for property damage, injuries, or other losses you have suffered as a result of the accident. It is crucial to understand your rights and work with a personal injury lawyer who can assist you in protecting them. This will help you to receive fair compensation for your accident.

When Should You Hire a Lawyer?

You should hire a lawyer as soon as possible after a motorcycle accident. Working with a legal representative may increase your chances of having a successful claim and maximizing your compensation.

An attorney will investigate the accident that caused your injuries, determine the responsible party, and start negotiations to secure compensation for you. If your claim is disputed, or if you receive no reasonable settlement offer, your lawyer will take your personal injury claim to trial to ensure the at-fault party or parties provide you with compensation.

In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, your Bloomington motorcycle accident lawyer will work diligently to help you recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related expenses. Your lawyer will also consider any projected future medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages that you may incur as a result of an injury due to one of the top causes of motorcycle accidents.

About The Author

Photo of Todd A. Strong
Illinois workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyer Todd A. Strong is the founder of Strong Law Offices in Peoria, Illinois. Todd brings considerable legal knowledge, experience, and skill to the table to ensure injured victims throughout the state are treated with respect, dignity, and fairness.