A pair of Chicago motorcycle accidents in the last week offers a sobering reminder of the dangers of spring riding season.
As Chicago car accident lawyers recently reported on the Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer blog, a total of 121 Illinois motorcycle riders were killed in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nationwide, 5,290 were killed and almost 100,000 injured in riding accidents.
On Thursday morning, a motorcyclist was killed when his bike collided with a car on the Southwest Side, the Breaking News Center reported. Police report that the motorcycle’s speed may have contributed to the accident, which occurred at the intersection of 55th Street and South Laramie Avenue at about 2:30 a.m. The rider pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn.
On Sunday (April 11), a motorcyclist was seriously injured after striking a median on the North Side, according to the News Center. The accident at the intersection of Irving Park Road and Ashland Avenue sent the 27-year-old rider to the hospital.
Spring is a dangerous time for riders for a number of reasons. New riders often begin riding in the spring and even veteran riders can take some time to get reacquainted with their equipment and area roads, where conditions often change over the winter. Additionally, it frequently takes motorists time to begin looking for motorcycles again as the weather improves and riders begin taking to the roads for the spring and summer months.
The popularity of motorcycle riding has exploded in the last decade; registered motorcycles in the United States have increased from 4 million in 1998 to more than 7 million this year. With the increase in riding has come an increase in serious and fatal motorcycle accidents. While nationwide traffic fatalities are in decline, fatal motorcycle accidents have increased each year for more than a decade.
Illinois State University offers a Motorcycle Safety Education program through the Illinois Department of Transportation. Participating in a safety program, or reminding yourself as a motorist to watch out for our riding friends, is a great way to ensure everyone has a safe summer on our roads.