Sharing the road with motorcycles is tricky at times, especially in heavy traffic. The mobility, quick acceleration, and frequent lane changes of motorcycles make accidents a risk for everyday drivers. While some drivers view motorcycles as a menace, most bikers are law abiding and simple prefer the feel of a ‘bike’ under them. With new motorcycle registrations growing every day, drivers must learn to share the road.
Lane Splitting. In sharing the road with bikers, drivers must be sensitive to the phenomenon of lane splitting – where a motorcyclist drives between lanes of slow-moving traffic. This practice contributes to accidents because the swift moves frequently catch drivers of cars unaware as they lawfully signal and change lanes. Lane Splitting by motorcycles is not permissible in Illinois (Illinois Motorcycle Operator Manual – IL Secretary of State’s Office).
As an attorney who represents Chicagoland clients in auto and motorcycle accident claims, I fight for victims every day to gain the benefits they deserve. With the risks posed by accidents between motorcycles and cars, I want to offer some suggestions that will help you better share the road with them and reduce the likelihood that you will be involved in an accident.
Stay Visible. Cars have blind spots – causing visibility problems. Nevertheless, as motorcyclists swerve and speed between lanes of traffic, drivers of cars must be hyper vigilant.
No Squeezing. Motorcycles who swerve and travel at accelerated speeds are at risk to themselves and cars. Give them enough room to maneuver.
Communicate. Quickly switching lanes may cause emergency braking. When changing lanes, always use your turn-signal to indicate your intent before moving into that lane.
Respect. A motorcycle speeding by can be startling. Don’t let it cause you to swerve and endanger other drivers. Keep both-hands on the wheel as the bike passes; it’s better to slow-down and stay out of the way.
What To Do If You’re Involved.
Anyone injured has the right to receive compensation from the ‘at-fault’ driver. Since lane splitting is not permissible in Illinois, the driver of the car will likely not be considered ‘at fault’. However, injuries with motorcyclists can be catastrophic. And, the motorcyclist may challenge the claim that lane splitting occurred. If you’re involved in an accident with a motorcycle, here’s a checklist that will assist you.
What To Do Checklist.
√ Medical Treatment. First and foremost, get medical attention for any injured party. The injuries to the motorcyclist may be catastrophic. This individual will likely need emergency care and significant follow-up care.
√ Police. When an accident occurs, always call the police. After their investigation, the officer will issue a police report. A police report is very important to your case.
√ Get Information & Photos. Never leave the scene of an accident without photographs and the names and contact information of witnesses. Most cell phones today have cameras that you can use to photograph vehicle positions, body damage, skid marks, and road conditions.
√ Hire an Attorney. If you are injured in an auto or motorcycle accident, contact Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer. Do not wait. We help you avoid mistakes that may weaken your case. We also help you keep track your medical treatment, ensure that no legal deadlines are missed, advise you on realistic compensation, and keep the case moving forward.
√ Report. Notify your insurance company and provide the police report number. In Illinois, you must complete and mail a report to the Secretary of State. There is a deadline for filing your case. Do not wait.
Print this checklist and keep it in the glove box of your car. You’ll thank me if you’re in an auto accident.
We Help Victims.
Injuries from any auto or motorcycle accident can be severe and life-changing. The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner are knowledgeable and expert in representing people injured in auto and motorcycle accidents. We apply a disciplined approach to gain a comprehensive perspective on the facts, issues, and injuries experienced by victims. We make the legal process as stress-free as possible. We focus on recovering the compensation you deserve, while you focus on healing and recovery.
The attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner Law make the legal process as stress-free as possible. We focus on recovering compensation for you – while you concentrate on your physical and emotional recovery.
If you or a loved one is injured in an auto accident, please call my office at 312-346-8465 or contact us using the form below.