While Daytona, Florida, may celebrate Bike Week in March, cold weather usually keeps motorcycles off Illinois roads this time of year. Riders farther north are enjoying an unusually warm winter by getting their motorcycles on the road. Sadly, this brings with it the danger of serious or even fatal motorcycle accidents. All drivers should be aware of the need to share the road and operate their vehicles safely.
Motorcycle riders are highly vulnerable to injury in the event of an accident. While motorcycles represent roughly 3 percent of registered vehicles in Illinois, they are involved in nearly 14 percent of fatal vehicle accidents. The consequences of an unsafe or negligent act are much higher for motorcyclists than for other drivers. If a car fails to yield the right of way or a motorcyclist takes unnecessary and unsafe chances, the results can be tragic.
Recently, Illinois State Police began investigating a fatal accident between a motorcycle and a semi trailer. The motorcycle was heading east on U.S. 34 when it drifted left into westbound traffic and collided with a semi tractor trailer. The motorcyclist was rushed to the hospital but eventually succumbed to his injuries.
This will certainly not be the last fatal motorcycle accident in Illinois this year, but it can serve as notice to motorcyclists and other motorists that the season of sharing the road is upon us. If every driver devoted a little more attention to driving and a little less to all the distractions that surround us, many tragedies like this one will be avoided.