Hazards of Motorcycle Riding in Chicago

10616It can be dangerous to ride a motorcycle anywhere in the United States, and Chicago and its suburbs are no exception. While the weather most months makes riding a fun and enjoyable activity, there are certain threats and hazards that continue to encroach upon a rider’s safety, making it dangerous for bikers in the city.

So what can bikers do to keep themselves secure and avoid a motorcycle accident in Illinois? You might be surprised to learn that through defensive driving, bikers can greatly improve their odds of remaining accident and injury-free as they cruise the roads here and elsewhere in the nation.

Whether you have been riding for a few weeks or decades, being an educated biker may be the best defense you have to being the victim of an accident. Consider taking an educational course on the basics of motorcycle riding, including proper traffic procedures and emergency maneuvers, if possible. Even if you consider yourself to be a very skilled rider, taking a refresher course every few years can serve as a helpful reminder of what to do in threatening circumstances and can even advise you on new state laws or safety regulations.

When you are on the road riding, other vehicles should be seen as a potential threat to you and your bike. Often, the drivers of cars, trucks, and SUVs fail to look for or notice smaller and more mobile motorcycles, leading drivers to miss a motorcycle and act with disregard to a rider’s safety in response. Though you have every right to ride, assume that those drivers around you are not aware of your rights and drive defensively to give yourself as many options as possible if you find yourself in danger. This means obeying the speed limit and always being prepared to stop and/or slow for traffic. It also means that when you are near a larger vehicle, you should do your best to avoid the vehicle’s blind spots or to pass through blind spots quickly so that you do not remain hidden from a motorist’s line of sight.

Chicago roads are notoriously rough and often in various states of disrepair. This poses an additional threat to bikers as do the construction zones that appear each year to work on the roads. Roads that are plagued with potholes, crumbling, uneven, poorly marked, or that are negligently designed can be more problematic for bikers than they are for the drivers of passenger cars. Further, if construction efforts are initiated to fix these problems, the work that accompanies those projects may be similarly threatening. A prime example involves a project to resurface a road in Chicago. The top of the road may be milled down before a new lawyer of asphalt is placed on top, bringing the road’s surface back to its original height. When the road is milled down, though, new problems may arise and can include things like manholes that now extend above a road’s driving surface. These now-raised surfaces on the road may cause a motorcycle rider to crash even though they would cause nothing but a nasty bump for the driver of a car, and when a biker falls from a motorcycle, he or she is often injured.

A surprising number of motorcycle collisions happen because one biker makes a mistake and causes a second to crash. Often, these bikers are riding together and one gets distracted or otherwise errs in his conduct. To avoid this incident, make sure those you ride with understand proper biker conduct when on a public road and they understand how to ride in a staggered formation. This creates additional space between riders and helps to improve each rider’s visibility, limiting the odds of an accident.

Know that it can be dangerous to ride in Chicago. If you find yourself involved in a bike accident and you are injured, speaking with a personal injury attorney can help you learn whether you are entitled to compensation for your damages and who may be held legally liable for the crash.

Prior Blog Entry:

Nearly 80 Percent of American Drivers Have Significant Anger or Rage while Driving, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published September 29, 2016.