Exceeding the speed limit when traveling on the highway is always dangerous, but it is an especially bad idea when riding a motorcycle. Motorcyclists are more exposed than car and truck drivers making them more likely to be seriously hurt. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcyclist deaths occurred 29 times more frequently in 2014 than other vehicle deaths. Thus, high-speed motorcycle accidents pose a threat to everyone on the road, including those responsible for them.
Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. has earned the reputation as Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers because we strive to protect motorcyclist rights. We can help if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident because of someone else, so contact us at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation.
The number of motorcycle fatalities sadly seems to be on the rise upon examination of NHTSA data. According to the organization’s March 2017 “Traffic Safety Facts,” total deaths skyrocketed 8 percent between 2014 and 2015, surging from 4,594 to 4,976. Moreover, motorcycle operators died more often than those they transported as passengers (94 percent versus 6 percent).
NHTSA classifies a motorcycle accident as speed-related if the person operating the motorcycle was either charged with a speeding offense or if the police noted that driving too fast for the conditions caused the crash. In addition, it views a motorcycle accident as speed-related if the speed limit posted on the road was exceeded and, as a result, contributed to the accident. Unfortunately, one in three motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2015 (33 percent) was speeding. In contrast, just 19 percent of passenger car accidents that year were attributable to speeding while light-truck accidents and large-truck accidents accounted for just 15 percent and 7 percent respectively.
Furthermore, NHTSA points out that while 40 people involved in fatal motorcycle accidents in Illinois in 2015 were wearing a helmet, 105 who died in motorcycle crashes were not.
Even if a high-speed motorcycle accident does not result in death, the injuries can be extensive. They commonly include broken bones, spinal cord damage, burns, and traumatic brain injury.
NHTSA offers several tips to avoid injury and loss of life while on a motorcycle. Perhaps the most obvious is to obey the rules of the road by not exceeding the speed limit. In addition, always wear a helmet to protect your brain. The helmet should display the U.S. Department of Transportation symbol on the outside back, which means it meets the federal government’s standards of weighing approximately three pounds and including both a thick polystyrene-foam lining and solidly constructed chinstraps. Also, you should completely cover your arms and legs with a fabric like leather or denim, wear boots or shoes that cover your ankles, and put on gloves to better grip the handle as well as to protect your hands if you crash. And of course, never operate a motorcycle while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Motorcyclists sometimes get a bad reputation for disregarding road rules and others traveling it. You can help reverse this thinking by following the law and driving within the specified speed limit to avoid hurting yourself and others. In addition, following a few simple steps can further protect you while enjoying a ride on the open highway.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, then let Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. help. We will provide experienced guidance and counsel to help you navigate this difficult situation, so call us at (312) 236-2900 to schedule an appointment.