Riding a motorcycle provides an exhilarating sense of freedom and adventure that four-wheeled vehicles simply can’t match. However, that liberating feeling comes with significant risks. Motorcyclists are far more vulnerable on the road compared to drivers of cars and trucks. When a motorcycle and another vehicle collide, the motorcyclist invariably comes out worse from the impact.
Motorcycle-Car Accidents in Illinois
According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were over 290,000 motorcycle crashes in 2021 alone. Out of those, 1217 were fatal. Shockingly, over 60% of motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Usually, that vehicle is a passenger car.
Collisions between motorcycles and cars lead to some of the worst injuries seen in traffic accidents. Unlike cars, bikes provide virtually no protection in a crash. When a motorcycle hits a car or vice-versa, the motorcyclist absorbs the full force of impact. This often leads to catastrophic, life-altering injuries.
Common Causes of Motorcycle-Car Collisions
There are various reasons why cars and motorcycles crash into each other so frequently on Illinois roads. Here are some of the most common causes of such accidents:
Motorcycles are much smaller and harder to see than cars. Drivers often fail to spot bikes on the road, especially in low light conditions. Problems with blind spots also reduce a motorcycle’s visibility to motorists. Pulling out into traffic and changing lanes become extremely dangerous maneuvers.
When drivers take their eyes off the road to text, adjust music, eat, or perform other distracting tasks, they are less likely to notice motorcycles nearby. Even a few seconds of inattention can result in colliding with a bike that the motorist failed to detect.
Behaviors like speeding, tailgating, improper passing, and running red lights increase the chances of car-motorcycle collisions. Impatient and reckless car drivers are a major threat to bikers’ safety.
Drunk, drugged, and drowsy driving impairs motor skills and reaction times. Intoxicated motorists struggle to safely operate their vehicles and notice smaller vehicles like motorcycles. DUI is a factor in many motorcycle vs. car crashes.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Slippery surfaces, uneven pavement, potholes, and debris on the road can lead to loss of traction and control for bikers. If a car is nearby, the results of a skid or spill could be catastrophic.
When motorists disregard traffic laws and operate their cars negligently, nearby motorcyclists’ lives are put at risk. Failure to yield right of way, ignoring traffic signals, unsafe merging/lane changes and other negligent driving actions increase the odds of colliding with a motorcycle.
Common Motorcycle Injuries from Collisions
When a motorcycle and car crash, the motorcyclist often pays the price with severe, debilitating injuries. Some common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Head and brain trauma – concussions, skull fractures, TBIs
- Spinal cord damage – paralysis, numbness in extremities
- Road rash – severe abrasions from skidding on pavement
- Broken bones – fractures requiring surgery and months of recovery
- Internal organ damage – ruptured spleen, lacerated liver, etc.
- Amputated limbs
- Joint and connective tissue damage
- Vision loss
- Disfiguring burns
- Emotional trauma – PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc.
The aftermath of a motorcycle vs. car accident can completely change a victim’s life. Financial, physical, and emotional burdens may feel completely overwhelming without proper support.
How to Avoid Motorcycle-Car Collisions
While motorcyclists can take steps to protect themselves on the roads, motorists also need to do their part. Here’s what drivers can do to help avoid crashes with bikes:
- Actively look for motorcycles – check mirrors and blind spots often
- Be especially vigilant at intersections and when changing lanes
- Allow plenty of following distance between your car and motorcycles
- Avoid distractions like phones when driving
- Follow the speed limit and other traffic laws
- Never drive impaired
- Scan ahead for road hazards that could affect motorcyclists
- Use turn signals well in advance of lane changes or turns
- Be patient and courteous; don’t make risky maneuvers around bikes
What to Do After a Motorcycle-Car Crash
If you’re ever involved in an accident with a motorcycle as the driver of a car, here are some steps to take:
- Stop immediately and call 911 as soon as it is safe to do so
- Render aid to the motorcyclist if possible until paramedics arrive
- Remain at the scene and cooperate with law enforcement
- Exchange insurance details with the motorcyclist or other parties involved
- Take photos of vehicle damage, skid marks and the accident scene
- Give an honest statement to police about what happened
- Even if you appear to be uninjured, make sure to get checked out at the hospital as some injuries won’t be immediately apparent
- Seek legal counsel as you may be liable for injuries and damages
The aftermath of a motorcycle-car collision can be complex. Consulting with an attorney helps protect your rights and avoid mistakes that could hurt your defense.
Get Help from an Illinois Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Crashes between motorcycles and passenger vehicles often lead to catastrophic injuries with massive medical bills and lost income. The motorcyclist may face an uphill battle pursuing fair compensation from insurance companies.
An experienced personal injury lawyer understands how to build a strong claim for damages after a motorcycle vs. car accident. Let them handle negotiations with insurers while you focus on recovery. They can also represent you in court if a satisfactory settlement can’t be reached.
Don’t delay in contacting a qualified motorcycle accident attorney after a collision with injuries. With their guidance, you can seek the maximum compensation owed under the law. Focus on healing, both physically and emotionally, and let your lawyer handle the legal complexities. With persistence and dedication, they can help you regain stability after your whole world gets turned upside down.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, contact us today. With offices in 32 locations in 19 states including Illinois, Maryland, and Iowa, we can easily be reached. Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597.