When the weather is nice in the Chicago area, we are likely to see more motorcyclists on the road. Whether it is your primary means of transportation or simply a hobby, motorcyclists face unique dangers on the road that drivers of standard automobiles do not; dangers that could lead to motorcycle accidents.

First, it is important to note that motorcyclists do not ride with the same protections that automobiles provide. Even if the motorcyclist is wearing a helmet, they do not enjoy the seatbelts, airbags and crumple zones that automobiles provide. This means that motorcyclists can be seriously injured or even killed if struck by a car, even if the car was not traveling very fast. In fact, according to one source, motorcyclists are approximately 25 times more likely to lose their life and five times more likely to suffer injuries if they are in a motorcycle accident compared to those riding in standard automobiles.

Second, motorcyclists face the danger of not being seen. Motorcycle unawareness is a real problem. Simply put, many motorists do not take care to look for smaller, less visible vehicles while on the road, such as motorcycles. Not only are motorcycles themselves smaller than automobiles and thus more difficult to see, but they could be obscured by other vehicles or poor weather conditions such as rain or fog. Distracted drivers can easily miss a motorcyclist’s presence and strike the motorcyclist. In fact, one source reports that in two-thirds of motorcycle accidents involving another driver, the motorcyclist’s right of way was violated, leading to the collision.

Ultimately, motorists this summer need to take care to look out for motorcyclists on the road with them. Motorcyclists have the same rights as motorists when riding, but it only takes a moment of distraction or unawareness for a serious motorcycle accident to occur. Motorcyclists who have been injured in accidents, or their families if they are killed, will want to determine if they have grounds to pursue a legal claim against the responsible drive.