Former State's Attorney With Over 38 Years of Experience

7 Common Motorcycle Crashes and How to Avoid Them

Crash statistics are a sobering reminder of how dangerous motorcycling can be. Even something as routine as riding your motorcycle home from work can turn into a high-risk situation where you could end up killed instantly if you’re not alert and cautious.

There are many things you can do to minimize the risk of crashing while riding your motorcycle, but crashes still happen even to the most experienced riders. Unfortunately, no one is immune to making mistakes or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s why it’s essential to understand common motorcycle accidents and how to avoid them—especially if you own a motorcycle.

Let’s look at seven common scenarios that can end up in a fatal motorcycle accident that Chicago residents can avoid.

1. Sudden Stop Collisions

Sudden Stop Collisions can happen when you’re riding too close to a car that suddenly stops or changes lanes, and someone in the other lane doesn’t notice you. To avoid this crash:

  • Ensure you’re following the 3-second rule of maintaining space between you and any vehicle in front of you.
  • If you encounter an obstruction in your lane, take evasive maneuvers like braking or steering away.
  • If a car pulls out before you without looking, slow down or stop before proceeding forward.

2. Loss of Control

Loss of control crashes result from a rider not knowing their motorcycle well enough or misjudging road conditions. If you’re in a loss-of-control crash, remember that your bike is designed to protect you. It can also be caused by:

  • Adverse weather conditions (rainy roads)
  • Carrying too much weight (luggage)
  • Reckless drivers
  • Having mechanical problems with the bike.


3. Right-of-Way Violations

Right-of-Way violations are when a driver turns into the motorcycle’s lane without yielding the right-of-way. The motorcyclist may only see the car once it is too late and will not have time to brake or avoid it. The best way to prevent this crash is for drivers to know that motorcycles are smaller than cars, so they should look for them before turning. You can do it by checking both mirrors, then scanning side to side over your shoulder before making any turns.

4. Head-on Collisions

A head-on collision is when one motorcycle crashes into another. There are many different causes for this type of accident, some of which include:

  • The rider was not paying attention.
  • The rider had alcohol in their system.
  • The rider ran a red light or stop sign.
  • There was a car that turned left on red.

Some other reasons may have contributed to this crash, such as if one motorcyclist had drugs in their system or if one bike ran a stop sign and didn’t yield the right of way. To avoid these head-on collisions, you should try not to run any stop signs and be aware of your surroundings. Another thing you can do is ride at slower speeds to see better ahead of time what’s coming up next.

5. Sideswipe Crashes

A sideswipe crash happens when another car makes a left turn in front of the motorcyclist. It can have a severe impact, usually causing heavy damage to both vehicles. To avoid this, ensure you’re visible from all angles, wear bright colors or reflective gear, and ensure your bike has enough space to maneuver around other cars. If you’re riding on the shoulder, pull over if necessary so that other vehicles can pass without risking a collision with you.

6. High-Speed Collisions

Motorcycles are fast, which can make them dangerous. One of the most common motorcycle crashes is a high-speed collision, where the bike operator is traveling at a high speed when they hit something. The high-speed collisions cause severe damage and, in some cases, fatalities. To avoid this crash, you should always ride at speeds appropriate for your riding conditions and obey all traffic laws.

7. Driving Under The Influence

Driving under the influence means operating while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs. It is against the law to drive a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher, typically reached after just one drink. Driving under the influence places you at risk for a motorcycle crash and puts other drivers on the road in danger.

What Should You Do If You Are Involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident in Chicago?

You first need to check if you or any other party involved in the accident are okay. If anyone has experienced life-threatening injuries and needs urgent medical care, you should call 911 so the nearest Chicago medical center can respond immediately before the victims are pronounced dead.

Next, you need to call the Chicago police or the Illinois state police, who will take a report. Call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. If you have an uninsured motorist policy with your insurance company, you can get coverage for any injuries from the other driver’s insurance company.

You may also be able to make a claim against them for property damage caused by their vehicle. If the accident is severe enough, you can also contact an attorney about filing suit against the other driver in civil court for damages incurred due to the collision.

Contact Michael J. Brennan, Injury and Accident Lawyer, for Legal Advice and Representation

If you’re on a motorcycle, you must know your legal options if an accident ever happens. In the majority of states in America, if a crash is attributed to the other driver’s fault, then the negligent party may be held liable for the damages incurred. It means they’ll have to pay for medical expenses, property damage costs, and lost wages from time off from work.

If you are involved in an accident caused by someone else, Michael J Brennan Injury and Accident lawyer will help you file a claim against them. Our office will work to gather evidence and build a case against the other driver so you can recover your due compensation.

Call us today at 708-726-6901 for a free case evaluation.

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