Who is At-Fault in Most Motorcycle Accidents?
Personal Injury - September 13, 2021
Motorcycle accidents do occur in the state of Illinois. In most cases, these incidents are caused by the careless or negligent actions of either the motorcyclist or a driver in another vehicle.
But who is more likely to cause a motorcycle accident?
There is always going to be debate about whether or not motorcyclists are inherently more dangerous on the roadways. The reality is that they are not. Here, we want to discuss which party is at fault for most motorcycle accidents in the state of Illinois, and if you’ve been injured in an accident, reach out to a skilled motorcycle accident attorney in Chicago today.
Who Usually Causes an Illinois Motorcycle Accident?
According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation, we can see that, even though motorcycle accidents accounted for less than 1% of all crashes across the state during the latest reporting year, they were responsible for 14.6% of all fatal traffic collisions that same year. Overall, the data shows that there were almost 2,100 total motorcyclists injured and 138 motorcyclists killed as a result of traffic collisions during the most recent reporting year we have on file.
But who usually causes these crashes, a motorcyclist or a vehicle driver?
Insurance carriers and even the general public are often quick to place the blame for these collisions on motorcyclists. Motorcyclists are often perceived as inherently reckless, but this is simply not the truth. In fact, the reality is that motorcyclists are not any more likely to cause the crash than any other vehicle operator on the roadway.
Motorcycle accidents caused by other drivers happen in a wide variety of ways, often due to the fact that vehicle drivers simply do not give much respect to motorcyclists on the roadways. Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, and this means that vehicle drivers must be more vigilant when operating near a motorcyclist. They have to be careful when making turns or lane changes because motorcycles easily fit into blind spots.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include other drivers:
- Operating their vehicle while distracted by phones or other devices
- Failing to yield the right of way at intersections
- Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Following a motorcyclist too closely
- Passing a motorcyclist too closely
- Operating too fast for conditions
Even though the vast majority of motorcycle accidents are going to be caused by the careless or negligent actions of a driver or a motorcycle operator, we need to point out that motorcyclists are also more vulnerable when it comes to roadway defects or hazardous weather conditions. This can include potholes, bumps in the road due to construction, debris on the roadway, rain or ice, wind, etc.
What Happens When There is Shared Fault?
It could be the case that a vehicle driver and a motorcyclist share fault for a crash. This does not mean that a motorcyclist will receive no compensation at all, though. The state of Illinois operates under a “modified comparative negligence” system. This means that crash victims can still recover compensation for their injuries if they were less than 50% responsible for the incident. Any person 50% or more responsible for a vehicle collision will not be able to recover compensation from the other party.
If a motorcyclist is less than 50% responsible for a crash, they can receive compensation, though the total amount that they receive will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.