Motorcycle accidents may not occur more frequently than any other kinds of accidents, but the injuries that result from a motorcycle crash are often more serious and more likely to result in death simply based on the lack of protection a bike provides in a collision. Recently, a left turn accident took the life of a north suburban Cook County man when an SUV turned left in front of his motorcycle at an intersection at Sheridan Road near Michigan Avenue in Wilmette.
A great number of accidents involving motorcycles happen when a car makes a left turn in front of a bike. This may be due to drivers not seeing or perceiving motorcycles on the road as compared to other cars. Drivers involved in a crash often say they did not see the motorcycle. Since motorcycles are so much smaller than cars, drivers may be looking past them in anticipation of seeing other cars. Whatever the case may be, drivers should be mindful that they are sharing the road with riders as well as other cars.
Although it may not be possible to always protect yourself from someone else’s negligence, there are precautions that motorcyclists can take that may help save lives too. Wearing bright colors or reflective clothing can increase the chances that drivers will see a rider. Keeping a bike’s headlight on at all times can also raise a rider’s visibility. Some bikes have automatic day-time running lights. In fact, Illinois law requires motorcycles to have their headlights on while operating. Motorcyclists should also be prepared to sound their horn when they need to get a driver’s attention quickly and to let them know they are there. Reducing accidents in the first place is the best way to avoid injury or death.
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© Joseph Klest, 2015.