This riding season could be a deadly one for Illinois bikers

As the summer riding season gets underway, Illinois motorcyclists should be aware of the dangers.

Now that Memorial Day has come and gone the summer driving season is in full swing. For motorcyclists, that means they can finally get their bikes out and enjoy the warm summer weather. However, motorcyclists should be aware of the risks associated with biking, especially this year when, as CBS News reports, holiday traffic is expected to reach a decade high. With more cars on the road and more distractions than ever before, motorcyclists in Illinois and throughout the country must contend with what could turn out to be one of the most dangerous riding seasons in recent memory.

A deadly riding season

The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that the number of drivers on the road during the 2017 Memorial Day long weekend to be approximately 39 million, higher than any year since 2005. With gas prices low and the economy continuing to rebound, heavy traffic is likely to be the norm throughout the summer driving season.

For motorcyclists, that increase in traffic means an increase in the chances of a collision happening. The AAA had also estimated that 22 percent of all fatalities over the long weekend would involve motorcyclists. In Illinois the danger is particularly high. In 2015, according to the Chicago Tribune, motorcyclist deaths increased by 24 percent in the state, well above the nationwide increase of 10 percent.

Staying safe on the road

Unfortunately, when a motorcyclist is involved in an accident he or she doesn't have the same protection that drivers who are protected within cars or trucks do. Even a minor collision that would leave only a dent on a car could be fatal for a motorcyclist. That's why all drivers need to be aware of their surroundings and give plenty of space to bikers. Distracted driving is an especially common problem on the roads today and drivers who are too busy texting or talking on their smartphones are more likely to collide with a motorcycle.

Of course, motorcyclists can also take steps to protect themselves. Wearing a helmet is the single best piece of safety advice for motorcyclists, especially since 40 percent of motorcyclists who are killed in accidents don't wear one. Wearing "body armor," along with boots and gloves, and highly reflective clothing will also make riders more visible and better protected. Finally, drinking and driving is a bad idea, especially for bikers who need to rely on their quick reaction times to avoid potential hazards.

Personal injury law

Anybody who has been hurt in an accident, including those injured in a motorcycle accident, should get in touch with a personal injury attorney immediately. An experienced attorney will be able to assist injured motorists with pursuing whatever financial compensation they may be able to make a claim for. That compensation could ultimately help cover a variety expenses, including medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and vehicle damage.

  • Foundation
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • American Association For Justice